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Feature: Egyptians favor Chinese products in daily life
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20:20, November 20, 2007

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"I have two motorcycles: one is a China-made Dayun 150cc which I bought one year ago at the cost of 3,000 Egyptian pounds (about 550 U.S. dollars), and the other is a Japan-made Honda 400cc which I bought three years ago at the cost of 27,000 pounds (about 4,800 dollars). The Chinese one is cost-efficient and its quality is also good, " Ahmed, a 30-year-old Egyptian, said Sunday evening at a bike and motorcycle components and retail store along a street at Cournish Maadi district in South Cairo.

The smiling Ahmed cannot help showing his satisfaction at the Chinese motorcycle, patting the motorcycle seat and pointing to the Chinese brand of a company in China's southern city of Guangzhou.

"Sometimes, I drive out with my wife, who sits on the backseat of the motorcycle. It's really nice. I like it," Ahmed said with a flavor of pride.


In fact, there are many brands of Chinese motorcycles which have entered the Egyptian market, such as Dayang, Haojiang and Lifan, among others.

With lower prices and good performance, Chinese motorcycles are welcomed in the Egyptian market.

According to Chinese customs statistics, China's motorcycle exports to Egypt reached 83.3 million dollars in 2006, while the largest Egyptian agent company for Chinese motorcycles has sold more than 100,000 motorcycles in more than two years since it began operations in 2004.

Apart from motorcycles, bikes and cars are other kinds of Chinese products which have accelerated into the daily life of some Egyptians.

Turning to the bikes hanging over the store ceiling and sprawling in the store courtyard, Ahmed said, "Kul-Kul (an Arabic word meaning all) are from China, and selling well."

According to Egyptian automobile chamber statistics, the annual sale of Chinese cars in Egypt is about 3,000 to 4,000 units, including Chery's QQ and SPERANZA, as well as Brilliance, Geely and Hafei cars.

Chery cars are the best-selling, with a cost of between 50,000 and 70,000 Egyptian pounds (about 9,000 to 12,700 dollars) per vehicle and with a 6-percent market share in Egypt, while Brilliance cars with a much higher price are also attracting more and more Egyptians.


Inside an electronic products mall in Maadi, Hassan, 32, runs a computer parts and electronic components store, where "MADE IN CHINA" stickers and Chinese characters are easily discovered on almost all the commodities, including headsets, keyboards and DVD discs.

"They are all from China. My elder brother goes to Guangzhou and Shenzhen in China every 45 days and stays there for about 10 days to sign contracts with dealers and import Chinese products into Egypt in containers," Hassan said.

He said Egyptian customers tend to buy Chinese products and his business is booming, adding that his monthly revenue is between 5,000 pounds (900 dollars) and 7,000 pounds (1,270 dollars), much higher than the average Egyptian monthly salary of several hundred pounds.

However, Hassan said, some poor quality Chinese products are also imported by dealers seeking more profits.

"It's up to the importers to decide what quality the imported products should be," he added.

Besides the above electronic components, made-in-China shoes, clothes and kitchenware, as well as cases, bags and children's toys, are very common in the daily life of Egyptians, some of whom joke that they are wrapped in Chinese products from head to feet.

Furthermore, some Chinese businessmen have planned to set up a big mall especially for Chinese products in a district in northeastern Cairo, with the aim of encouraging more and more Chinese companies to provide the Egyptian market with products in good quality and better service.


At a seminar with a Chinese delegation from Yiwu, Zhejiang province in southeastern China, last week, the Chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, Mohamed El-Masry told Xinhua that good quality Chinese products are very competitive in the Egyptian market.

"Egypt is now urging Egyptian businessmen to increase exports to China, expecting more joint ventures to be established in the future for the purpose of mutual benefit," he said.

China-Egypt bilateral trade reached 3.3 billion dollars in the first nine months of this year and is expected to reach about 4 billion dollars this year, from 3.19 billion dollars in 2006, while there are currently 352 Chinese enterprises in Egypt, with a total investment of about 430 million dollars, according to Chinese government officials.

With the trade surplus in China's favor, the Chinese government is taking measures to find more suitable Egyptian products for the Chinese market to increase Egyptian exports to China, such as fruits, linen and marble products, to benefit customers of both countries.


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