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Thursday, 11 May 2017

Trade Ministry to amend automotive directive

Trade Ministry to amend the proposed automotive directive? The Trade and Industry Ministry is reportedly looking to revisit unspecified sections of the so-called “automotive directive” before sending it back to the House of Representatives for review and a final vote, Al Mal said on Wednesday. The news comes a little more than a week after the European Union’s ambassador to Cairo claimed that the bill — which offers incentives to encourage local assemblers to move further up the value chain into manufacturing — violates the terms of Egypt’s free trade agreement with the EU. European carmakers and local importers of their wares have been lobbying against the automotive directive for the last several months, claiming that it not only offers assemblers too many incentives but could also be potentially harmful for exporters in the long run. (Don’t ask us about the logic on that last bit — we report this stuff, we don’t make it up).

Passed by September? Prodded by their local partners, European car makers had complained about the bill to the European Commission, warning that it may impact future European investments in the Egyptian market. It’s unclear when the ministry intends to send the updated bill back to the House, but the government is hoping to see the law passed by September, House Industry Committee chair Ahmed Samir tells the newspaper. The bill proposes giving local assemblers tax breaks and payouts to protect them against what the industry says are unfair advantages enjoyed by importers of European, Turkish, and Moroccan car brands.

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