Egypt with a population of about 70 million inhabitants is an interesting market for many businesses offering all kinds of services and delivering all kinds of products.
Cairo is the centre of Egypt. This goes without any question for political power and related ministries and authorities, a concentration of cultural and educational institutions, science and last but not least for business. Practically all multinational companies are headquartered or represented in Cairo.
As sub-centre Alexandria immediately follows in line.
Doing business in a country in transition requires a cautious evaluation in order to avoid surprises which may have a negative influence on the development of an otherwise promising opportunity.
An extensive widespread bureaucracy governing and regulating all areas, including people’s private lives matches that of any other overregulated country in the world. However a lot of efforts are visibly made to make life easier and especially to attract foreign investment.
In addition differences in culture and mentality may lead to serious mis-understandings. Don’t be mistaken by enthusiastic reactions and promises which are not more than a spontaneous gesture.
Contracts and agreements should, indeed must contain stipulations allowing arbitration in case of disputes. The complete legal system appears to be weak – as a consequence law enforcement can be very slow.
Commercial disputes can easily drag on for several years.
Factoring in Egypt will improve the situation in so far as the factoring services package assists Egyptian exporters to gain a competitive edge. Also the SME sector in Egypt will benefit as factoring offers an alternative source for working capital.