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Egypt's labour minister to stop issuing work permits to foreigners
New Labour Minister El-Borai announced he will stop issuing work permits to foreigners amidst resentment of employers who take advantage of cheap foreign labour
Bassem Abou Alabass, Saturday 12 Mar 2011
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Egyptian Labour

The new Minister of Labour and Immigration Ahmed Hassan El-Borai declared that Egypt will stop issuing work permits for foreigners in the coming period, offering Egyptian workers a hope for jobs in this new era.

El-Borai announced yesterday that "It’s better for Egypt if locals have work in their country,” although he did add that the government may still grant work permits to highly-skilled foreigners with rare specializations.

“I will meet with businessmen to discuss reducing the proportion of foreign workers in Egypt,” he confirmed.‪

“This is a great decision from the new minister,” said Abd El-Rahmaan Kheir, a member of the National Labour Union to Ahram Online.

Although Abd El-Rahmaan opposed the appointment of El-Borai for the ministerial post because he is not seen as a union figure, he does appreciate El-Borai’s decision. He argues that it will save job opportunities for Egyptians, boost wages and prevent employers from taking advantage of the presence of these foreigners once they enter the market.

“Employers rely on foreigners because they escape their responsibilities to pay social insurance, they are not bound by labour laws and can sack foreigners without redress, besides the fact that foreigners get paid less than Egyptians,” he adds

The decision also comes welcome in light of certain practices by the ousted Mubarak government. The previous minister, Aisha Abd El-Hady, for example, raised the proportion of foreigners permitted to work in Egypt from 10 per cent to 13 per cent in the spinning and weaving sector.

In total, the number of foreign workers in Egypt exceeded 20 thousand in the private sector.





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Kareem Ahmed
22-07-2013 02:30pm
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Populistic blah blah to get popular
It always works well to say that you will provide more work to the locals. It will make you instantly more popular. Numbers are always nice to make things more clear: What they didn't mention and what probably most Egyptians don't know, is that for each foreigner working in a company, there must be 9 Egyptians working in the same company. Besides, there are if I am correct about 90 million people in Egypt living. So, I think 20.000 foreign workers in Egypt is really not that much. The law permits it to be 9 million. Okay, let's make a more fair calculation. Let's say 50% is male. (And let's simply forget that there are also females working in this country.) That's 45 million. Of that 45 million we only take 33% for the working class. The others are too young or too old to work. That gives us 14.850.000 workers. 10% of that still gives us a number of almost 1,5 million foreign workers that the law does allow to come over for work. That is a bit more than the 20.000 currently working, which make up for only about 1,35% of the allowed foreign working class. 20.000 foreign workers is nothing more than 0,00135% of the total Egyptian working class. (Remember that 10% was allowed.) To reach 10%, Egypt still has to catch up quite a bit. They have to make it more easy, not more difficult. Further I agree with most of the comments of the others. The foreign workers do bring the knowledge and skills that this country does not have and never will have with the current education system and mentality. To make it even more difficult to have a long stay permit or working permit than it already is, will do no good to the country. It's nothing more than another big lie to the Egyptians.
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Percy Pickles
14-03-2012 01:05pm
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The Missing Facts
Many Egyptian people work for about 250le per month and their employers don't pay social security. There are children working in Tannieries and many Egyptians are admitted to hospital for work related injuries and they are not allowed to claim a penny because their bosses don't declare them. I don't think there is a real threat of anyone coming to Egypt to steal their jobs.
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12



mbk
12-12-2011 10:21pm
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Foreigners get cheated
I fully agree that locals must be given first priority for any kind of job and then the expats. I had worked for two years in an MNC which is also managed by a foreigner.I was not paid my dues after termination of my contract.The foreigner cannot do anything because he has to leave the country immediately once his w.permit is ended.He cannot stay for long time in the country because he has no means to meet the ends.So the employers take undue advantage of foreigners, however they cannot do the same with locals. Most of the foreign nationals are well experianced (15-20Years above)They take risk.
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11



Islam Ali
04-09-2011 11:41am
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You Know Nothing
El-Borai says foreigners get paid less than Egyptians. Do you think a US or UK citizen will take 1000$ a month? I was renting a flat for some foreigners in Garden and the rent was 4000$ a month so what do you think, what you will say when you know that their salaries start from 11,000$ a month. If you talking about the private sector, as foreigners not allowed to work on public sector, you need to make a visit to the payroll for each one working in Egypt, also look to the USAID and the employees there. There’s imbalance in the salaries in Egypt. Look at Egyptian who get positions in the public sector and take un-paid vacations. I knew one who worked for 13 years and till now he gets un-paid vacations.
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sufa
19-04-2011 03:15pm
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foreigner working
how about the foreigners married to egyptian females and living in Egypt? will they be asked either to sit at home unemployed or take their family and go back to their homeland?
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Brett Michaels
13-04-2011 01:00am
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Foreign workforce
One would hope that this applies to the right areas, in industry many workers could be replaced by locals. In tourism, some but not that many. Foreign tourists depend on their tour guides to be from "back home" in case of problems during the holidays they need to be able to communicate in their own language. Every country in the world with tourism has representatives from their home nationality. Without this many companies would stop coming to Egypt. Tourism is a large part of the Egyptian economy and affects not only local destination but industry and manufacturing. Diving is another area, if you want to learn to dive in the Red Sea you need to be taught to 100% in your own language to ensure safety. Hotels, bars and restaurants employes foreign entertainment acts because this is what the tourists demand. Without foreigners working in the tourism sector there would soon not be any tourism. I do agree that in other sectors employers are using foreign unskilled labor to reduce cost and
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8



Adam
24-03-2011 09:53pm
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Work permits
Unfortunately I do have to agree with Wael. There are a lot of illiterate locals which are un-employable, based on the fact that they cannot think for themselves. There are also sectors of the job market that NEED foreigners to work, such as the tourism sector, in particular diving! Already there is not enough local staff to cope with demand, and it is time consuming and expensive to get someone trained to the level expected by the dive organisations. Even before Mubarak was ousted locals were getting their 'friends' to sign them off to achieve dive qualifications, and with this sort of mentality all it's going to lead to is deaths in the water which will destroy the industry. Also look at the restaurant / shopkeepers, they don't see that them throwing their rubbish onto the street is getting blown in the sea, and again it's destroying their business as its killing marine life, so if they are not careful then there wont be anything for tourists / divers to come and see...
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Sally
14-03-2011 11:29pm
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Foreigners working
Many foreigners own businesses in Egypt and can not find suitably skilled employees from the local workforce. It will take 5 - 10 years of training and development for Egyptians to be able to do all the jobs that are currently employing outsiders. Most business owners would be happy to employ more local people if they find them suitable. Hope the foreigner business owners are also consulted during this review of labour.
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6



Sally
14-03-2011 11:29pm
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Foreigners working
Many foreigners own businesses in Egypt and can not find suitably skilled employees from the local workforce. It will take 5 - 10 years of training and development for Egyptians to be able to do all the jobs that are currently employing outsiders. Most business owners would be happy to employ more local people if they find them suitable. Hope the foreigner business owners are also consulted during this review of labour.
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5



Sally
14-03-2011 11:29pm
0-
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Foreigners working
Many foreigners own businesses in Egypt and can not find suitably skilled employees from the local workforce. It will take 5 - 10 years of training and development for Egyptians to be able to do all the jobs that are currently employing outsiders. Most business owners would be happy to employ more local people if they find them suitable. Hope the foreigner business owners are also consulted during this review of labour.
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Name
 
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