The Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade will coordinate with the Ministry of Local Development to organise trade expos for Damietta furniture in various governorates of Egypt, according to Ministry of Industry Tarek Qabil.
The trade shows aim to promote and market these products and will begin in five Upper Egypt governorates: Beni Suef, Minya, Qena, Sohag and Assiut.
These expos will be dedicated to junior producers and small and micro workshop owners to present their products, Qabil added.
Tests to ascertain the quality of furniture will begin next month as part of the Furniture Technology Centre’s work, Qabil said.
“The ministry is coordinating with the Housing Ministry to hold expos specialising in the furniture industry in order to provide for the new social housing units, which are being built by the Housing Ministry,” Qabil said.”The trade fairs will be held near the location of the social housing unit projects, in coordination with the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) and Chamber of Woodworking and Furniture Industry.”
Minister of Local Development Ahmed Zaki Badr said his ministry will coordinate with the governors to identify the exact location and time at which the expos. An entity needs to be created to include small workshop owners in Damietta in order to facilitate communication with these workshops to achieve the desired benefit from holding such expos, Badr said.
There will be a permanent Damietta furniture products expo in New Cairo on an area of 16,000 sqm, in addition to allocating 20 acres to hold a permanent Damietta furniture products expo in Ras Al-Bar city, according to Damietta Governor Ismail Abdel Hamid.
Damietta MP Mohamed Al-Zeni said the governorate has suffered from a severe recession due to its inability to market of furniture products, which is the main source of income for Damietta citizens where there are nearly 40,000 furniture manufacturing workshops employing approximately 600,000 workers.
A large number of these workshops were closed due to the recession and limited marketing which led to increased unemployment among the people of the governorate.
Furthermore, Damietta MP Ossama Al-Abd demanded the government postpone the payment of taxes for producers who have accumulated outstanding debt to the government.
In the same context, Damietta MP Mustafa El-Maati demanded for new restrictions on furniture imports so as to counteract the appearance of low-quality products on the market, which places Egyptian industry at a disadvantage in the market.
The minister of industry issued a decree in December to restrict the import of approximately 50 items—including luxury goods and other commodities— and to create a registrar at the General Organisation for Export and Import Control (GOEIC).