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'MADE IN CHINA' NOW MADE IN EGYPT

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The Chinese-owned Nile Textile Group has set up shop in the Port Said free zone, overlooking the north entrance of the Suez Canal, and developed an industrial estate now hiring 600 workers, 20 percent of which are Chinese and the rest Egyptian.
  • With cheap labour, investment incentives and unrestricted exports, one Chinese textile group has turned to Egypt as an ideal location to produce its ready-made garments, beating stiff competition at home.
  • Cheap raw materials and favourable export conditions have given the company easy access to foreign markets.
  • It's a bargain for the Nile Textile Group, which imports 60 percent of its basic products tax free and then sends them outside Egypt, mainly to the United States.
  • Most of their cut-price clothes are now labelled "Made in Egypt" rather than "Made in China".
  • "Egyptian free zones allow for export all over the world with almost no restrictions," said Mohammed Abdel Samie, the industrial estate's administrative director.
  • Local salaries are low enough to compete with those of Chinese workers, even with a system of bonuses offered to the Egyptian workers at the end of each month.
  • "In the factories where salaries are fixed, we earn a maximum of 700 to 800 Egyptian pounds (around 130 to 150 dollars) a month. In this company, it works out better for us," said factory manager Mansur al-Said.
  • In the neon-lit factories, Egyptian workers in headscarves work side by side with Chinese technicians in white blouses to the thumping sounds of the sewing machines.
  • Instructions are posted in Arabic and in Chinese.
  • As for the daily communication between colleagues, a little extra work was required.
  • Around 950 Chinese companies have set up operations in Egyptian free zones, representing a total investment of nearly 300 million dollars.
Source: Middle East News
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