The Egyptian government activated on Sunday a nationwide initiative to boost consumer spending on local products amid the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The initiative, titled “Ma Yeghlash Aaleik” or (It’s never too expensive for you), involves 1,178 merchants and offers discounts of around 20% on 4,231 products. It will last for a period of three months and may potentially be renewed.
Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait revealed that the expected sales under the initiative could reach EGP 120bn.
In a press statement, Maait said the initiative aims to encourage local production, whilst increasing local consumption and boost the local market.
The minister elaborated that the initiative will offer additional 10% discount to ration card holders. This will see discounts of EGP 200 – EGP 1,000 for consumers, with the state’s support for the initiative amounting to EGP 12.25bn.
Maait emphasised that Egyptian and non-Egyptian residents who are non-holders of ration cards can also benefit from the discounts.
A number of banks and financing companies includes National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque du Caire and Commercial International Bank, as well as Nasser Social Bank in addition to Aman a subsidiary of Raya Holding and Valu affiliated to EFG Hermes, will provide low interest financing for those wishing to purchase goods as part of the initiative in the coming three months, the minister explained.
A wide variety of consumer goods will be discounted and incentivised by the government through the initiative, including electronics, home appliances, ready-to-wear clothes, leather products, furniture, and artisanal goods among many other products.
Mohamed Manzalawy, a member of the 10th of Ramadan Investors Association and member of the Egyptian Businessmen Association (EBA), stressed that the initiative achieves the national interest and stimulates Egypt’s industry.
Manzalawy noted that local industry has faced severe pressures and has borne many burdens over past years. This initiative is likely to encourage factories to increase production and sales, whilst boosting the local market and supporting citizens by offering locally produced goods at low and competitive prices.
He pointed out that producers, traders and consumers are the main beneficiaries of the initiative. He also called for the initiative to the extended until the end of the year, instead of three months, to support national industry and increase its competitiveness.