The Egyptian government is expected to approve a new law protecting market competition and preventing monopolies. In 1998, approximately 3.5 million local dealers demanded that the government invoke a competition protection law.
The request coincided with the arrival of the British department store Sainsbury’s to Egypt, according to London based Al-Hayat daily. Many Egyptian merchants opposed Sainsbury’s establishment in the country since it engaged in a form of market monopolization of lowering prices which in turn hurt smaller local businesses.
The decision to enact the law, which has been a long time in the making, was not easily reached. Opposition to it grew primarily from the Arab Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) planned for 2005, whereby trade would be open to all forms of competition, causing many small enterprises to worry.
It should be noted that Sainsbury’s decided to pull out of the Egyptian market in early December 2000, through sale of its shares to Egyptian investor. According to press reports, this move was a result of calls to boycott British and American goods in Egypt in lieu of rising political tension in the region, though investors insist that this is untrue. — (MENA Report)
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