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BUSINESS > Turkey’s textile firms halt activities in Egypt for a while

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

Some Turkish textile companies have suspended their operations and future investment plans in Egypt amid the escalating violence that concerns many foreign firms in the country

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Egyptians, soldiers and policemen gather outside Cairo’s Al-Fath mosque where Islamist supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi hole up on August 17. Many foreign companies are worried about their investments in Egypt.

Egyptians, soldiers and policemen gather outside Cairo’s Al-Fath mosque where Islamist supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi hole up on August 17. Many foreign companies are worried about their investments in Egypt.

Zehra Aydoğan Zehra Aydoğan zehra.aydogan@hdn.com.tr

Many foreign companies have been concerned about their investments in Egypt in the high-risk environment. Some Turkish textile firms have decided to halt their operations until the violence in the country ceases.

There are many Turkish textile companies, which make up around 80 percent of Turkey’s more than $2 billion investments in Egypt according to the official numbers. Orka Tekstil and LCWaikiki have temporarily suspended their operations and future investment plans.

LCWaikiki has shut down its stores in Egypt for the safety of their staff and clients, Vahap Küçük, the chairman, said in a recent interview via e-mail with the Hürriyet Daily News. “We have started retailing operations in Egypt in the last two years. We have six stores, three in Cairo, two in Alexandria and one in Hurghada. We have stopped sale in our stores in Cairo and Alexandria in order not to take risks against life safety of our staff and clients. However, our store in Hurghada is still open and ordinary operations are continuing,” he said.

Production halted in Alexandria

Küçük stated that the company had been engaged in production for ten years in Egypt. “We weren’t affected by the incidents because their production center is located in Alexandria, far from Cairo and central places. But we suspended the production on Aug. 14 because of curfew,” he said.

However, Orka Tekstil decided to postpone their further investments in Egypt. “Egypt is an important market for us. We have stores in Alexandria and Cairo. We have put aside our plan to increase store numbers for a while,” Süleyman Orakçıoğlu, the chairman of Orka Tekstil, which has Damat, Tween and D’S Damat brands, said in a recent interview via e-mail with the Daily News. He noted that they would continue their investments after these incidents terminated.

Some companies have already announced that they would halt their production in the country due to the state of emergency, including Turkish Yıldız Holding, European oil giant Shell and Swedish home appliances maker Electrolux.

Last week, Turkey’s Yıldız Holding decided to suspend their production activities in Egypt “both to comply with the curfew order and to protect their employees,” Yıldız Holding’s chairman, Murat Ülker, tweeted. The company normally has an annual production capacity of 30,000 tons of biscuits in Egypt for the neighboring regions.

Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said the ministry didn’t receive any shut down notification from Turkish companies that have operations in Egypt.

Egypt has been highly favored by both Turkish companies and others to establish production facilities thanks to its low production costs and its ability to sell customs-free goods to many countries.

August/19/2013

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