Nigeria removed its ban on Egyptian furniture after a series of talks and meetings, according to Minister of Industry and Trade Tarek Kabil.
Nigeria had imposed a ban on furniture imports, on a list of 25 commodities since 2005, which has negatively affected Egypt’s exports of furniture to Nigeria, the minister said.
Kabil said that Egypt recently raised this issue with the Nigerian side in a number of tracks. The ُEgyptian Commercial Service (ECS) in Geneva conducted a series of consultations with a delegation of Nigeria at the World Trade Organization (WTO), in which ECS expressed the harm experienced by Egyptian companies due to the Nigerian ban on furniture imports, which is a violation of the WTO’s regulations.
Kabil noted that the Nigerian side responded to the Egyptian request and officially confirmed the removal of furniture from the list of prohibited products.
The minister pointed out that removing the ban on furniture imports to Nigeria represents a great opportunity for the Egyptian furniture sector, where the Nigerian market is one of the largest African markets—with a population of 180 million people—as well as being one of the largest economies in Africa.
He called on Egyptian furniture companies to exploit this opportunity and export to the Nigerian market, especially in light of the current trend of the ministry to increase Egyptian exports to African markets.
The Egyptian government pays great attention to the furniture industry through gathering the industry factories in Damietta, north Cairo.
Damietta Furniture City will be established on a 331 acre plot and is expected to produce 25,000 job opportunities, as well as another 40,000 jobs indirectly.
On 23 May, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi arrived at Damietta Furniture City, to inaugurate the first phase of the Damietta Furniture City project.
Egyptian exports of furniture amounted to $107m in the first 4 months of the current year, according to Egyptian Furniture Export Council.