Egypt’s Importers Division calls for full exchange rate liberalization, unlimited foreign currency deposits

The Importers Division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, led by Emad Kenawy, urged the government to stabilise external debt, reschedule its payments for longer terms, and seek to transfer the debt in 2024, considering the global situation and the regional tensions in the Middle East. The division also advocated for full liberalisation of the exchange rate and allowing foreign currency deposits without any limits, while delaying the import of finished products. Moreover, the division stressed the need to arrange management priorities and communicate them to the business sector.

The division proposed a short-term plan for no more than three years, focusing on spending on land reclamation and providing utilities, as well as expanding agriculture and food industries to achieve self-sufficiency for domestic consumption, regardless of the cost.

The division demanded unprecedented incentives for drug manufacturers in the local market, viewing the drug as a top priority and a matter of national security. The division also suggested working to establish partnerships with global producers of pharmaceutical raw materials, to attract them to the local market.

The head of the Importers Division recommended negotiating with friendly creditor countries, especially Arab ones, to defer payments for at least two years, to give the Egyptian economy a chance to recover and the exchange rate to stabilise. He also called for halting external debt at the current level and refraining from any new borrowing. Furthermore, he advised fully liberalising the exchange rate at a realistic and reasonable rate, to curb and limit the parallel market and lower inflation.

The division also requested prioritising currency management for food supplies, production inputs, and everything related to Egypt’s national security.

Kenawy emphasised the need to restore the agricultural cycle system and increase investment in agricultural, livestock, and poultry projects. Additionally, he urged simplifying and facilitating the procedures for loans to small and micro enterprises, to create job opportunities.

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