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Government to halt import of products with local equivalent

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Decision in line with ministry of industry’s earlier announcement it is preparing a law obliging governmental authorities to buy local products instead of imported ones

The government decided to stop importing products that have a local equivalent, the State Information Service reported on Tuesday.

The decision came after a Monday meeting attended by ministers of finance, petroleum, supply, planning and international cooperation, communication, electricity, industry and the governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).

The Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Investment  started in early May preparing a draft law, under the name of the Local Production Protection Law, obliging governmental authorities to buy local products instead of imported ones, according legal advisor of the minister Hesham Ragab.

The law, which was said to be finalised in three weeks, comes to promote the national industry, Ragab said, noting that there will be sanctions and disciplinary penalties for violators of the law.

Previous governments issued similar decisions in 2008 and 2012, which however have not been implemented, Ragab added.

Mohamed El-Bahey, a member of the Federation of Egyptian Industries’ board of directors, applauded the decision and said that it encourages the industrial sector to increase its production and revitalise the economy.

During the Monday meeting, the ministerial economic group also discussed CBE measures to maintain the balance of the exchange market and the levels of the international foreign reserve, keep up with government’s efforts to provide citizens with basic commodities and control rising inflation rates.

In April, annual inflation decreased to 8.87% compared to 9.82% in March, while international foreign reserves surged to reach $17.48bn.

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