Monday, January 08, 2018

Made in Egypt? The quiet garment scheme making Israel millions

Middle East Eye 

CAIRO – Activists are targeting Disney and other brands over links to a contentious scheme that allows Egyptian manufacturers to export garments to the US tax-free so long as Israeli materials are used.
The quietly promoted programme, known as Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ), was enacted by the US Congress in 1996 in an effort to "normalise" relations between Israel, Egypt and Jordan, through economic cooperation.
Through QIZs, Israeli manufacturers supply at least 10.5 percent of products used in a garment. Then Egyptian factory workers in 705 QIZ-certified factories sew the final product which is exported to the US and exempted from taxes of between 5 and 40 percent, but typically at a 15 percent average.

To read more go to Middle East Eye

To read in French

Photograph by Paul Cochrane

'Factory of tomorrow’: Egypt aims to replace Far East as cheap clothing king

Middle East Eye

Egyptians earn a monthly average of between $100 and $113 in the garment sector 
(MEE/Paul Cochrane)

CAIRO - After nearly seven years in the economic doldrums, Egypt is keen to bolster its clothing exports, worth some $1.4bn a year, and employ over one million Egyptians.
Egypt - and Africa more generally - is well positioned to become the next destination for sourcing clothing: salaries in the up-and-coming manufacturing hubs of Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya are as low as $60 a month, rising to $100 in Egypt.
What is more, there are no other low-cost destinations left on the planet. Asian manufacturers are at full capacity and South America has also become too expensive to source from.
Garment workers earn on average $100 a month in India, and around $70 in Bangladesh, while the lowest in China is $208. Bangladesh, the second-largest producer, still has a certain stigma from buyers in the wake of the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster that killed 1,135 people.
That was the message at a major trade conference recently organised by the Egyptian government, export councils and the UN’s International Labour Organisation aimed at promoting Africa as a "new frontier" for garment and textile manufacturing.

 To read more go to Middle East Eye

Money Laundering Bulletin: Egypt - In Transition (Video)

20 minute video I made on Egypt's AML and CTF regime for Money Laundering Bulletin -