Effective early March 2016, none of the below products could be imported to Egypt
- Dairy products
- Chocolate and cocoa products
- Mineral water
- Cosmetics & Perfumes
- Stencils & Kitchen kits
- Sanitary products
- Toilet paper and diapers
- Household appliances (kettles, boilers, air conditioners, dishwashers …etc.)
- House & office furniture
- Bikes and motorbikes
- House lights
Source: Al-Mal Newspaper
The Good Side
This planned move aims at encouraging local manufacturers as well as every entity and individual who benefit from the manufacturing process to produce and sell with limited local competition. Some product manufacturers had no chance at all with the presence of imported equivalents, even if the latter would be so expensive. Some other goods will just sell much more.
The Ugly Side
Some goods will simply vanish from the market because there aren’t local replacements of those. Watches and motorbikes are good examples. We don’t manufacture those in Egypt, do we?
The quality of other goods will simply deteriorate. Chocolate, household appliances, toys and perfumes. The quality will be just too low to be acceptable at all by consumers. Most of those are luxury products and a low-quality equivalent is not even sought, even with 1% of the price. Who would replace their Chanel perfume with a ‘Oud bottle? Even worse, parents won’t trust locally-manufactured toys, not because those won’t be appealing to kids but because of the lack of health quality checks.
The disaster will be in quality in general. Without competition, local manufacturers won’t improve their products and won’t try to compete with international equivalents, because there will be no reason for this at all. There will be no competition anyway.
Egyptians will be able to import Chanel garment but not household appliances. We will be able to import caviar, but not dutch cheese. What’s the point then?
Many other ways could have been implemented, like charging higher customs. Also, the list should definitely be revised. Competition should be kept at a good level for the benefit of the consumers.
On another note, manufacturers should be supplied with process improvements and funds that would allow them to compete with their international equivalent. This builds a better market.
What Do We Do at Wall Corporation to Help Here?
We support small businesses with solid growth plans to become competitive to international equivalents by encouraging local investors and even average people to invest more and more in Egyptian businesses, businesses that aim at building a better affordable life in an average city, not only fancy compounds.