Egypt's first smartphone maker to export to Germany next month

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt’s first smartphone maker, SICO, said it will begin exporting its devices to Germany in November as part of its expansion plan to sell its products in Europe and Africa, its chairman told Reuters.

Silicon Industries Corporation (SICO), which already exports to the Gulf and aims to start selling phones in other European countries, said it signed an agreement in October with a company operating in Europe to market its products.

“We will begin exporting from Upper Egypt to Germany, Holland, Austria, and then Sweden, Norway and Finland,” its chairman Mohamed Salem said.

SICO, which was set up in December 2017 and has 200 million Egyptian pounds ($12.43 million) in paid-up capital, sells phones under the brand name Nile X and has said it uses a Chinese design of 3G/4G U.S. technology.

Its plant in Assiut, Upper Egypt, has a production capacity of 2 million devices annually.

“We signed agreements with three Chinese companies to manufacture phones for them for export to Africa and to offer on the Egyptian market,” Salem said.

“We started manufacturing them a month ago and the first of these products will be distributed inside the Egyptian market next week.”

Private investors own 80% of the company and the remaining 20% is held by Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

SICO currently exports around 25% of its capacity, Salem said. It aims to export 50% of its products by the end of next year.

Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Yousef Saba and Amina Ismail, editing by Louise Heavens