The Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) decision to exempt computers and computer programmes from requirements to provide a cash margin of 100% to import them is a positive step, Link-Egypt General Manager Yehia Tharwat said.
This decision will help companies boost their sales, particularly after they faced a decline last year, due to the lack of dollar availability.
The CBE’s decision partially resolved the challenges faced by electronic device importers. However, importers are still confronted with obstacles in importing smart phones, tablets, and printers, as they are listed as “luxury goods” and therefore subject to the 100% cash margin according to the new CBE regulations.
Tharwat thereby further demanded to generalise exemptions on imports of all IT and telecommunication devices.
The IT sector is capable of boosting the Egyptian economy, as it is based on developing and renovating all other sectors, Tharwat said.
The CBE’s decision will contribute to pushing computer sales up by approximately 5% over 2016, according to head of ITG Computer Software Company Osama Fawaz.
Fawaz noted that prior to the new amendments, the CBE’s import regulations were an essential reason behind the decline in computer import rates. Over the past few months, computer market sales saw a phase of recession, due to the country’s economic situation and the decline in customers’ purchasing power.
Chairman of the Chamber of IT Industry Kaled Ibrahim said internal trade of computers recorded approximately EGP 1bn in 2015. Last Saturday, CBE Governor Tarek Amer issued a decision to exempt imports of software, programmes, and computers and their accessories from the required 100% cash margin.
The CBE had previously imposed a number of restrictions on imported goods, including paying 100% of the value of imported shipment, which IT companies considered an obstacle affecting their activities.
The IT sector’s share in the total gross domestic product (GDP) increased from EGP 48bn in 2010 to approximately EGP 66bn in 2014, recording a share of 4.1%.