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Egypt denies ‘selling off textiles infrastructure’ 

An Egyptian worker preparing threads on a machine at the Marie Louis textile clothing and textile factory in the 10th of Ramadan city, about 60 kms north of Cairo, on 29 July 2018 [Khaled DESOUKI / AFP / Getty]
An Egyptian worker preparing threads on a machine at the Marie Louis textile clothing and textile factory in the 10th of Ramadan city, about 60 kms north of Cairo, on 29 July 2018 [Khaled DESOUKI / AFP / Getty]

The Egyptian government yesterday denied recent reports about the sale of the local spinning and weaving factories to foreign investors.

The Ministry of Public Business Sector said in a statement that the recent news about the government’s sale of the public spinning and weaving factories to foreign and local investors were “groundless.”

“The government has been seeking to develop the spinning and weaving sector and to restructure its management companies,” the ministry explained, describing the textiles sector as “one of the most important Egyptian industries.”

“A comprehensive and unprecedented plan is underway to develop the spinning and weaving industry and its state-owned companies at an estimated cost of 21 billion Egyptian pounds ($1.22 billion) over two and a half years,” the ministry pointed out, adding that the plan was aiming “to restructure the cotton and spinning and weaving companies and to quadruple the factories’ current production capacity.”

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Some news went recently viral on social media claiming that the Egyptian government was intending to liquidate 70 per cent of the public spinning and weaving factories to foreign investors to “fund building new residential towers and investment projects.”

Officials say that some 1,500 public textiles factories were suffering heavy losses due to the hike in prices of goods and services following the Egyptian pound liberation in 2016, as well as their inability to compete with the internationally-imported products due to “lack of resources.”

Egypt’s textiles industry faces fierce competition against the imported garments and wool from Asia, India and Europe, all of which have a global reputation of their high quality and affordable prices.

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