Importers believe Industry Minister’s decree violates WTO agreements

Shaimaa Al-Aees
2 Min Read
Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Qabil announced Tuesday that the automotive industry strategy is near completion, and a supreme council will be formed for the development of the industry.

Head of the Importers Division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce Ahmed Shiha has said the proposed establishment of record that would register foreign factories that export to the Egyptian market violates the World Trade Organisations (WTO) agreements and import and export law 118/1975 that has been in effect for 40 years.

Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Tarek Qabil issued a decree to create a record at the General Organisation for Export and Import Control (GOEIC) to register foreign factories that export to the Egyptian market. The decree was published in Al-Waqa’i’a Al- Masriya, the official state gazette, on 31 December and will come into effect in two months.

Shiha said the new decree to control imports will in effect circumvent laws regulating trade and will increase the risk of monopoly. Shiha contended that Qabil is unfamiliar with the laws that his declaration will render ineffective and further expressed his fear that other countries would institute a similar policy on Egyptian exports, which could lead to an imbalance in trade exchange.

“Egyptians products do not see enough domestic consumption and we cannot protect the local product because we do not have an industry,” Shiha said. “Even Egyptian products depend on imporst of raw materials from abroad.”

There is no commodity that can be dispensed but the decree only serves some large companies, which Shiha called “monopolists”.

Head of GOEIC Alaa Abdel Kareem emphasised the efficacy of the decree and refuted that the ministry had banned any goods. The resolution states that products entering the Egyptian market must adhere to the quality and environmental protection standards.

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