Businessmen accuse government of harming exports

A number of owners of private sector companies have criticized the government's decision to reduce export subsidies, arguing that it places them at a disadvantage in international markets.

“Reducing export subsidies prevents Egyptian products competing in international markets,” said Alaa Arafa, chairman of the Ready Made Garments Export Council, noting that subsidies were reduced from LE4 billion to LE2.5 billion in the new state budget.

“China subsidizes exports by 16 percent, while Egypt subsidises them by only 10 percent,” he said. He also said that the government had “raised wages and costs of raw materials.”

Tarek Tawfiq, chairman of the Food Export Council, said that local food demand had dropped by 40 percent, meaning that food producers must now export more products in order to offset losses. “But how can they do so if export subsidies have been reduced?” he asked.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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