The Dubai World Trade Center, organizers of GITEX, conducted a survey of the Egyptian IT market in 2000. Responses from more than 100 IT companies trading in, or with, Egypt have expressed concern regarding the country's logistics management, operations, including administrative issues related to customs.
In comparing the estimated amount of Egypt's IT import duties on PC components collected in 2000 as provided by industry insiders, with general estimates of sales to the region provided by various IT companies, it appears that Egyptian authorities have missed out on a substantial amount of duty fees that ought to have been collected.
According to vendor estimates, components for around 210,000 locally assembled PCs were shipped to Egypt in 2000, which translates into total sales values in the range of $25 million. Industry sources say sales worth $25 million would generate potential customs revenue of around $20-30 million; however poor import tracking has meant that the actual costs realized were much less than that.
Some IT representatives say tightening the import process could help Egyptian Customs substantially reduce such losses. New barcode technology to be featured at GITEX Cairo will provide solutions to help improve the handling, transportation and distribution of IT component imports in Egypt. It is particularly relevant to Egypt because the country is positioning itself as a re-export center for European and North African markets and many countries in these regions are adopting policies that make electronic labeling mandatory for all imported goods.
During GITEX Cairo a comprehensive workshop, focusing exclusively on bar-coding technology, will be offered April 6-7. These sessions will be open to members of the general public for a nominal fee. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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