The Tobacco Division of the Federation of Egyptian Industries has warned against cigarette factories stopping production due to banks’ refusal to issue credit letters required to import raw tobacco.
According to experts, this could lead to the unemployment of nearly 30,000 employees and threaten state resources from the toll fees and taxes paid by cigarette companies, which exceed 79 billion pounds annually.
The Head of the Tobacco Division, Ibrahim El-Imbabi, said that more than 23 factories would close their doors after the Eid Al-Fitr holiday after exhausting their entire stock of raw tobacco, which is entirely imported from abroad due to the ban on its cultivation in Egypt. El-Imbabi explained that the implementation of the decisions of the Central Bank issued in March led to the suspension of the import of raw materials in most of Egypt’s factories, not only the tobacco factories. He added that tobacco factories import raw materials at about $500 million annually, and their exports amount to $120 million annually.