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Monday, 3 July 2017

The Walt Disney Company lifts ban on having its merchandise manufactured in Egypt

The Walt Disney Company has lifted a ban on having its merchandise manufactured in Egypt, Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil announced on Sunday. Disney had instituted the ban in February after a drop in Egypt’s ratings in “worldwide governance indicators and the country not joining the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Better Work Programme,” according to Ahram Online. The ban’s lifting follows negotiations between the company and the Egyptian government, which started March.

Egypt will begin implementing the ILO’s Better Work Programme, which pushes its own labor standards for industry, following the ban, Kabil added. The program — which will be implemented across two stages through to next year — will also provide several services to clothes export chains, including an assessment of factories, consultancy services and training.

It appears that Egypt’s economic “Cinderella story” also helped bring Disney back to the fold, as Kabil also proclaimed Egypt’s improved credit scores and economic reforms in coordination with the IMF and World Bank had helped bring about this change of heart. We had been noting that these talks may have involved Israel — when Disney reportedly halted imports of textile exporters under the Qualified Industrial Zones agreement — and the US, during President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s visit to the US in April.

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