The automotive sector’s sales are collapsing as a result of the price hikes during the current period, and many companies are choosing to exit the Egyptian market—sparking concerns that the current situation may result in disaster. This is besides the modifications to the customs system that will lead to serious consequences on the European side, according to Kareem Al-Naggar, the CEO of Kayan Company, which is the Spanish brand SEAT’s agent in Egypt.
What points do you wish to be discussed at the third summit on future investment opportunities in the automotive sector?
We should review the recommendations from the two previous summits and see which points have been implemented so far. There should be a real discussion about the status market in the previous period so as to learn from it and avoid making the same mistakes.
In addition to discussing other countries’ experiences in the automotive manufacturing field and how to benefit from them, we are waiting for a clear explanation from the government about the local automotive industry strategy submitted to the parliament.
What is your evaluation of the Egypt Automotive Summit?
I think it’s a good opportunity and perfect timing to discuss challenges facing the automotive sector in Egypt, as well as an opportunity to listen to the government’s side on how to resolve problems for workers in the local market.
What are your main demands from the third summit in light of the concerned governmental sectors being in attendance?
We are asking all attendees and conference representatives for transparency and real discussions about the challenges facing the automotive sector, and to follow the conference’s final recommendations
What are the major challenges facing the auto sector right now?
The sector is in serious collapse in the wake of the price hikes on automobiles, the exit of many companies from the Egyptian market, and the foreign currency shortage which is required to cover the needs of suppliers. I’m putting an emphasis on the recent crises because these are threatening the market and will lead to the closure or withdrawal of many companies and agencies.
How do you evaluate the opportunities for investment in the Suez Canal Economic Zone and the growth of feeding industries?
The Suez Canal Economic Zone is Egypt’s future owing to the growth of feeding industries. I believe it simply requires the state to announce a clear policy and export incentives, as well as reassuring international companies’ trust so they invest in the Egyptian market.
What is your opinion about the tax and customs systems, and its impact on the automotive and feeding industries sector?
The automotive sector is suffering from the customs system due to price differences in the current period. The price set by the Tax Authority was violating the terms and conditions of the European Partnership Agreement—their response will be catastrophic.
What do you think about the Egyptian pound’s flotation?
It was an appropriate decision and was delayed for too long. This move will solve the problem of having multiple exchange rates, and will eliminate the speculation and competition.
However, the decision led to price hikes, which are unacceptable to customers. I think the market will take a long time to understand these price hikes. It will suffer from a decline in sales and the exit of many brands from the competition. I expect some companies to exit the Egyptian market.