Madbouli: Egyptian economy reached record figures with economic reform plan



Sun, 27 Jan 2019 - 12:55 GMT


Sun, 27 Jan 2019 - 12:55 GMT

Egypt's Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli during his interview with CNBC - Screen Shot from CNBC

Egypt's Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli during his interview with CNBC - Screen Shot from CNBC

CAIRO – 27 January 2019: Egypt would like to see a more direct physical presence from tech giant Apple even as the two are caught up in conflict over local iPhone sales, the Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli told CNBC on Wednesday.

“I think Egypt is a big market and attractive for Apple to exist in directly. Apple has been in Egypt but through indirect agents, suppliers. But really, we discussed yesterday the idea really to have Apple be in Egypt to be one of its industrial hubs and a destination to serve the whole region,” the prime minister told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The smartphone maker has angered Egyptian authorities over its selling practices in the country, which the government says is causing iPhone prices to skyrocket.

Egypt’s Competition Authority on December 11 gave Apple a deadline of 60 days to resolve “unfair restrictions” over marked-up phones, whose price tags put them at as much as 50 percent higher than iPhones in other Middle Eastern countries.

The Competition Authority says this is because Apple is breaking the law by preventing its Middle East distributor from selling to local Egyptian distributors, deterring “intra-brand competition” and isolating the country from the broader regional market.

While their threat doesn’t include a permanent ban on sales, they have promised legal action if nothing is fixed by the 60-day deadline. Apple has reportedly not publicly responded to the claims.

Madbouli, who was named as prime minister by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in June of last year, said that while talking to Apple representatives at the Forum he floated the idea of collaboration toward reforming Egypt’s education system.

He hoped Apple’s engagement with the country of 97 million would manifest itself “specifically with our very ambitious program in reforming education, and how we are introducing now the technology for our students and children, and I believe here Apple can play a substantial role in that respect.”

“Egypt is enjoying the privilege of having a very good-skilled, educated youth people, they are very cheap in terms of labor forces comparing with any other destination ... So this could present a very attractive market for any supplier to consider Egypt as a hub,” Madbouli said.



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