JERUSALEM: Businesses reopened in Egypt’s Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZs), Israeli officials said Saturday, after one month of closure prompted by the country’s revolt against the regime of former president Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt and Israel collaborated to establish five QIZs — effectively free-trade zones from which exports to the United States are duty free and not subject to quotas so long as their origin is 11.2 percent Israeli.
"Business is almost back to normal in our factories in the Egyptian QIZs after the interruption," said Ramzi Gabbai, chairman of the fashion and textile division of the Manufacturers Association of Israel.
"For nearly a month many of our businesses, namely Delta, stopped production because the closure of the ports, the cordoning-off of the Suez Canal and disturbances to Internet connections had made exporting impossible," he told Israeli public radio.
Three QIZs are in the Cairo region, one is in the Alexandria and another in Port Said.
Similar zones have been also set up in Jordan as part of the peace treaties Israel signed with Cairo and Amman in 1979 and 1994 respectively.
"Egyptians want to continue this cooperation, which allows them to be competitive in the United States. They need our technology and we use their cheap labor market," added Gabbai.