Cairo is the economic and industrial center of Egypt. More than two thirds of the country’s gross national product comes from the Cairo metropolitan area. It’s long been known as the manufacturing capital of Egypt. Cotton textiles, agricultural products, chemicals, plastics, automobiles and other goods are all produced within the city. Just outside of Cairo, in Hulwan, is the center of the iron and steel industry in Egypt.
Cairo is also a central shipping hub for the region. Cairo’s connection to the ocean is on the Nile river port of Bulaq on the north end of the city. From there, goods can be transported throughout the country by rail and road. The Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, is a major revenue source for the Egyptian government. This port allows Europe and Asia to be connected by boat without going all the way around Africa. The Cairo International Airport is also a major shipping hub.
The majority of Cairenes work in the service sector, especially in government and finance. Cairo has more than half of Egypt’s hospital beds and universities. Egyptian media is almost exclusively generated in Cairo, and the television and radio produced here influences the entire Arabic world. The new Media Production City is a giant media complex built to facilitate media production in the 21st Century. Tourism is also a major source of revenue for the Egyptian capital. Travelers from across the world fly into the area to see the pyramids and other ancient Egyptian artifacts.