Egypt inks arrears settlement agreements with 41 export firms amid COVID-19 crisis

Doaa A.Moneim , Wednesday 6 May 2020

Maait, Gamee
minister of Trade and Industry Niveen Gamee (L) and minister of Finance Mohamed Maait (Photos: Al-Ahram)

Egypt's ministers of finance, trade and industry inked on Wednesday a number of settlement agreements with 41 foreign and domestic export firms to resolve the arrears meant to be disbursed for them through the Export Development Fund (EDF).

According to a joint statement, the settlement agreements are part of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's directives to support export and economic sectors to maximise their productive capabilities amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The agreements also contribute to providing cash liquidity for export firms to be pumped in the production process and to retain their workforce with an entire commitment to all preventive and precautionary measures.

The agreements were signed by Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait and Minister of Trade and Industry Niveen Gamee.

Maait said that 30 percent of export firms’ arrears will be disbursed with a minimum of EGP 5 million for each before the end of the current fiscal year, that ends in June, in order to support the economy against the repercussions of COVID-19.

The agreements are also meant to enhance the competitiveness of Egypt’s products globally and expand the exporting base by heading to the international markets, according to Maait.

He added that export firms will disburse their arrears without the need to extend a tax position statement.

For her part, Minister Gamee said that electronic payment orders are to be issued for 2,056 export firms, worth a total of EGP 1,900 billion, in implementation of President El-Sisi directives to fast-track the disbursal of export firms’ arrears despite the challenges the COVID-19 crisis imposes.

She added that the total arrears that have been disbursed from the EDF for export firms as of January until the end of April recorded EGP 2,133 billion.

On Sunday, the trade and industry ministry inked exports support contracts with 20 export firms with a total of EGP 3 billion to expande their investments.

Export firms have been suffering from the accumulation of their dues that have not been disbursed from the EDF for three years with a total of EGP 10 billion.

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