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790 factories seeking state help to resume operations in Egypt: Minister

Financial issues account for 84% of reasons for closures, while security concerns are no longer a factor, says the industry minister

Ahram Online, Tuesday 1 Oct 2013
Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour
Minister for Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour (Photo: AO)
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The number of factories seeking government assistance in order to resume operations in Egypt has reached 790, Minister for Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour announced on Tuesday.

Speaking on the second day of the 9th Money and Finance Conference in Cairo, Abdel- Nour was talking about factories which applied for help from the state-run Industrial Modernisation Centre (IMC).

Eighty-four percent of the problems faced by these companies were financial—namely an inability to secure loans to keep operations up and running.

Technical issues also partly accounted for the closures, although "at present none of the factories are closed due to security reasons" said Abdel-Nour.

In September, Abdel-Nour had put the total number of factories closed in Egypt due to financial, technical, or security issues at 613.

Kamal Abu-Eita, minister of manpower, had announced a few weeks prior that more than 4,500 factories had closed in Egypt. After the announcement, the state-run Industrial Modernisation Centre (IMC) and the ministry invited those investors in difficulties to contact them.

"It is very possible that more factories are facing difficulties but they did not announce themselves," Abdel-Nour said in September.

The figures declared by Abu-Eita were based on a survey conducted by independent NGO the Centre for Trade Union and Workers Services (CTUWS) published a few months ago.

According to Kamal Abbas, the general coordinator of CTUWS, the figures were obtained through a survey by centre employees with the collaboration of the Egyptian Democratic Labour Congress, an independent labour federation, in different industrial cities.

The government has allocated LE 500 million ($71 million) to help those factories as part of a of LE 22.3 billion ($3.2 billion) stimulus package to boost the economy.

"The money will be used to finance the working capital of companies unable to find financial resources," said Abdel-Nour in September.

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