Egypt's Biggest Companies
The economy of Egypt is one of the most diverse and developed in the Middle East. A wide range of sectors play equally important roles in the country's economy: tourism, energy, manufacturing and industry, agriculture and the service sector. The economy continues to develop rapidly, with the government being keen to attract new investments and having itself spent a lot on the development of Egypt's infrastructure and telecommunications. Egypt has a good balance of homegrown and foreign companies. Of the hundred largest companies in Egypt, approximately half are internationally owned, while half are Egyptian companies.
Manufacturing is very important for the Egyptian economy. It produces approximately 18 percent of the country's GDP and it employs a million workers. Despite investment in the manufacturing sector, however, much of the production capacity has tended to be left idle due to dependence on the local market rather than developing a focus on exporting goods. Export has become more important in recent times, and this has provided manufacturers with the chance to increase production. Modernizing the manufacturing sector and enabling it to compete on the international market has been an important part of economic development for the Egyptian government.
Alexandria National Iron and Steel is a major manufacturing company in Egypt. Founded in 1982, the company's main products are billets and reinforcing bars or rebars, which it exports to countries all around the world, including Saudi Arabia, the United States, China, Span and Sudan.
Orascom Telecom is the largest company in Egypt. It was founded in 1998 and it has become the leading provider of wireless communications in the Middle East, serving not just Egypt, but also other countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan. It is considered to be one of the largest and most diversified telecommunications operators in the world, working in many different countries including Algeria, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Canada, as well as running a joint operation with Korea Post in North Korea. Orascom Telecom has approximately 93 million subscribers. The company has expanded and developed a lot since its creation, and when it was first listed on the Egyptian stock exchange it set the record for an initial public offering. Orascom Telecom was the first corporation in Egypt to become a multinational. Orascom Telecom has shown an interest in developing WiMax, a technology that may replace wi-fi in the future to provide wireless internet connectivity, and in expanding its business to submarine communications cables.
Orascom Construction Industries is another of Egypt's biggest companies. An engineering and construction firm, it has a turnover of 3.8 billion dollars, of which approximately a fifth is generated in Egypt. Orascom Construction works in 25 countries and is a major multinational company.
Orascom Hotels and Resorts is yet another large Egyptian company in the Orascom family. It is among the 20 largest companies in Egypt, although unlike the other Orascom companies, it is not on the Forbes's list of the world's 2000 largest companies. Tourism plays an important role in the Egyptian economy, and this branch of the Orascom group has benefited by operating hotels in Egypt, as well as in the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.