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Abstract

This paper examined the export performance of Egypt’s small and medium-sized agri-food firms in relation to the proliferation and intensification of EU food safety and quality standards. The empirical work that was based on a survey and the estimation of ordered probit models revealed that certification is an indispensable market access instrument for Egypt’s firms to penetrate EU markets for imported agri-food commodities. The experience of firms in the agri-food export business was associated with decreasing probabilities of border rejections and exiting export markets due to standards. Furthermore, the results implied that the surveyed firms turn to less demanding markets in terms of food safety and quality requirements as these requirements become more stringent in their traditional export markets. Finally, inconclusive findings were drawn from the role of permanent and skilled firms’ labor on the export performance of the surveyed firms.

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