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Egypt signs deal with Werner International to restructure textile sector

Ahram Online , Thursday 21 Jan 2016
A labourer works at a textile mill in Mahalla el-Kubra, about 110 km north of Cairo (File photo: Reuters)
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Egypt signed a deal with US-based Werner International to restructure 25 state-owned textile companies, said investment minister Ashraf Salman on Thursday, according to state news agency MENA.

The restructuring will start in February and will take 43 weeks to complete, said Ahmed Moustafa, head of the state-owned Holding Company for Textiles.

The once-thriving textile manufacturing sector has weakened over past decades with its outdated machinery from the 1950s used in state-owned companies.

The Exports of Textile, Home Textiles and Ready Made Garments companies made $2.4 billion in the first 10 months of 2015, accounting for around 15 percent of total non-oil exports, according to the Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade.

Public and private companies from the labour-intensive sector provide around 25 percent of all industrial jobs in Egypt, according to the Netherlands Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries.

Workers in the textilesector in the Nile Delta city of Mahalla, who have a long history of organised action, have held numerous strikes before and after the 25 January 2011 uprising, with a wave of protests in 2006 and 2008, representing the largest anti-regime protests during the 30-year rule of president Hosni Mubarak.

Founded in New York in 1939, Werner international is a management consultancy firm for the world textile, apparel and fashion industries, currently having clientele in 70 countries.

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