CAIRO: Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry announced on Sunday that the ministry will be resolving the problems of suspended or closed factories across the country in order to boost industrial development at this "critical" stage in Egypt’s economic transition.
"The government is keen on finding urgent solutions to have these factories up and running, entering the production stage again," Mahmoud Eissa, minister of trade and industry, said in a released statement.
Currently, there are 1,500 factories across Egypt in various fields which have been shutdown or stalled production, a media representative at the ministry told Daily news Egypt.
According to the statement, the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) and the Industry Modernization Center (IMC) will be receiving the applications of the factories within 15 days in order to conduct a comprehensive inventory of these factories.
Ismail Al Nagdi, chairman of the IDA, along with Hisham Wagdy, executive director of the IMC, will be receiving the factories’ applications in the authority’s head office in Cairo and also through the website of the IDA.
Both the IDA and the IMC will form a committee to review the factories’ cases, discuss the reasons behind their closure, and then provide a detailed report to the minister of trade and industry.
Alaa Ezz, secretary general of the Egyptian Federation of Industries told DNE that despite the importance of these factories, many of them were shut down by banks after failing to pay their loans on time.
"Abu El Sebaa, one of the major textile companies in Mahalla governorate was shut down but has been recently among the companies re-launched; this actually was one of the biggest exporters of textiles in the country," said Ezz, who was their at the re-launching of this specific factory.
"These companies were shut down due to re-syndication of debt," he added.
He also added that the Ministry of Trade and Industry is indeed planning to work with more factories and discuss the issue with their banks in order to reschedule loan payments.
"Unlike banks in the United States, where the system sometimes funds ideas, the banks in Egypt follow the French system; they look at collateral – not feasibility of a project and this prohibits growth; that is why you’ll never see a Bill Gates in Egypt," said Ezz.
"These are major factories that employ hundreds of people and contribute greatly to the economy and industry in Egypt, it is very important that their issues are worked out," said Ezz.
According to Ezz, the factories under review are located all across Egypt and manufacture a diverse range of products.
Moreover, Eissa pointed out that this decision comes as part of a new government policy coming from Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzoury to support local industries, especially at this "critical" stage.
"The nation’s economy is going through development and urgent solutions are needed to solve the problems of stalled or suspended factories to help them restart again and enter the production stage," he said.