Le Marche (Photo: Le Marche official Facebook page)
Egypt’s prominent annual furniture fair, Le Marché, will be held in April after being postponed indefinitely by state authorities in December due to “insufficient security measures," an official at co-organiser Tarek Nour Communications (TNC) told Ahram Online.
The 32-year-old fair, which was set to take place from 22 to 25 December, will be in April, but the exact date is not decided upon yet, according to TNC press secretary Hossam Hassan.
Le Marché organisers said it was postponed in a surprise move by authorities three days before the opening, causing millions of pounds worth of losses to local manufacturers and traders.
The interior ministry released a statement quoting an official as pointing to the "non-completion of the civil protection and firefighting system that ensures that attendees and contents are protected from fire risks" adding that "the postponement will provide the opportunity to meet the required conditions in this regard."
The losses incured by over 200 companies participating in the fair are estimated at between EGP 200 and EGP 300 million, Yousry Abul-Naga, head of the fair-organisers' division at the Federation of Egyptian Industries, told Ahram Online in December.
Manufacturers and traders say they had hoped the event would boost this year's sales amid a stagnant economy.
The fair is co-organised by the Arab African Promoters for International Conferences and Exhibitions (AAPI) and Tarek Nour Communications (TNC), which is owned by advertising mogul Tarek Nour, who also owns satellite TV channel Al-Qahera Wal Nas.
According to the official statistic body CAMPAS, the furniture sector employed 270,222 workers across 104,250 establishments in 2013.
The value of exports by the furniture industry stands at EGP 305.1 million, according to a September 2016 press release by Egypt's Ministry of Industry.
Egypt's economy has been struggling since 2011 uprising, with a sharp drop in tourism and foreign investment, two main sources of hard currency for the country.