Liberalising customs dollar would destabilise domestic market: Head of Egyptian Importers Division

Doaa A.Moneim , Monday 2 Sep 2019

An employee counts U.S. dollars in a foreign exchange office in central Cairo, Egypt, November 3, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

Head of the Egyptian Importers Division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce Emad Qenawy says that the government's decision to liberalise of the customs dollar price will impact domestic market prices.

Qenawy told Ahram Online that this action would leave room for importers to set different prices for the same commodity, and that this would undoubtedly destabilise the domestic market.

“The prices for commodities will be raised by a maximum 3 percent of their current prices. The government does not bear any burdens in the import sector, so fixing the price or setting it according to the Central Bank exchange rate is not a big deal for the government. The consumer is at the centre of this matter and the consumer will be the most impacted by this action,” Qenawy said.

Qenawy also called on the government to set the customs dollar price according to the Central Bank of Egypt’s monthly close rate for the purpose of stabilising commodity prices in the market and preventing the setting of different prices for the same commodity.

The price of the customs dollar was fixed for three years, on an exceptional basis, to stabilise the prices of commodities, particularly the imported items the prices of which skyrocketed after the floatation of the Egyptian pound in November 2016.

Its latest rate stood at EGP 16 per $1 over the past few months. The current dollar rate stands at EGP 16.5, according to Central Bank of Egypt on 2 September.

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