The smuggling of ready-made clothes and textiles into Egypt from abroad caused local manufacturers to lose an estimated LE4 billion in 2009, according to a report issued recently by the consultative Shura Council’s industry committee.
Committee Chairman Farid Khamis said Tuesday that tons of textiles were smuggled in from Egyptian seaports and sold on the local market, while Egyptian products were heavily taxed.
He also criticized authorities for failing to control what he called "legal smuggling," whereby plain textiles–imported tax-free in order to undergo printing and then re-export–remain in Egypt to be sold on the local market. Khamis said only 50 percent of imported plain textiles were subsequently re-exported, while the rest were sold domestically.
Khamis added that the problems currently facing the local textiles sector were a result of the government’s free-market economic policies. "Curse the privatization process," he concluded.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.