By Shaimaa Elise and Nehal Mounir
The black market in Egypt is valued at $35bn per year, and the recent decisions of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) contributed to eliminating this trade, according to CBE Governor Hisham Ramez.
Ramez said that the maize import bill amounted to $2bn in 2014, which led the bank to open the annual allocations only for basic commodities, such as the food and pharmaceutical industries, and basic industrial materials.
Ramez noted that the recent decisions taken by the CBE received plaudits from some, and objections on the part of others within the business community, adding that many investors attack the bank’s policies because the bank eliminated the black market.
Meanwhile, Ramez demanded that the business community and Federation of Egyptian Industry (FEI) conduct a comprehensive and detailed inventory of all problems facing the industry related to the dollar or opening credit documentations.
Ramez added that a working group will be formed to resolve these serious problems.
“The CBE did not open credit documentations to import goods during Ramadan in the last period; however, the market has not seen a shortage of any commodities,” said Ramez.