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Egypt Feels Pain of Global Disruptions Wrought by War and Pandemic

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Some withholding practices have also changed, reducing cash on hand, he added. He said he understands that governments are looking to raise revenue, but that this approach could discourage entrepreneurship.

“It’s stifling small businesses,” he said.

Gamal Osman, 59, a warehouse worker in Tanta, a city about two hours north of Cairo, said prices for basic services such as identity card renewals have also increased. He said he cut down to eating meat only once every two weeks and still couldn’t save as much money as he used to.

“You can feel it in everything you do,” he said. “From the moment you go out to the moment you go to sleep”

Still, some people see opportunity in difficulties.

Mohamed Ehab is the marketing director of the automotive company that introduced the Chinese brand Jetour to the Egyptian market in 2020. Sales were booming last year, but new import rules disrupted business.

The company stopped taking orders a few months ago and is focusing on expanding its service centers.

Ehab said there is still demand for a practical family car even after the devaluation has sent prices skyrocketing. The company’s lowest priced car has risen from about $18,000 to $26,000. This is mainly because importers have to pay China in dollars.

But he hopes the impasse will spur the government to offer incentives for automakers to assemble their products inside Egypt.

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