Govt starts negotiations with 30 banks to reopen 1,750 factories

The Foreign Trade and Industry Ministry announced on Friday the formation of a "working group" comprised of representatives of the ministry, the Egyptian Banks Union (EBU), the Egyptian Industries Union and the Egyptian Investors Union to discuss the problems of 1,750 idle factories.

Foreign Trade and Industry Minister Mahmoud Issa said in a statement that he met with EBU President Tareq Amer, along with 30 heads of public, private and foreign banks, the president of the Union of Industries and vice president of the Union of Investors.

He stressed that the banking officials showed readiness to help the troubled or suspended factories, saying they formed the pillars of development in the national economy, as well as to contribute to maintaining employment in these factories.

Issa said that the EBU expressed willingness to contract a number of consulting firms, at the union’s own expense, to prepare integrated studies on the troubled factories and identify the best ways to solve the problems and return them to work.

Issa said 84 percent of idle factories have stopped work due to financial difficulties.

Amer said in a statement that the these financial issues do not represent a major challenge, especially as the EBU has the potential to absorb the operating companies’ debts. The problem is not funding but rather identifying the real causes that led to the occurrence of the financial problems, he added.

Galal Zorba, head of the Egyptian Industries Union, said the union is ready to contribute its expertise and technical management to assess the situation in the troubled factories and companies and to determine the ability of these companies to return to work again.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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