Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi is looking to reduce the so-called “dollar burden” in the country by producing local components for energy-saving products, Arabi21 has reported. The current exchange rate is around 31 Egyptian pounds to the US dollar, making imports extremely expensive.

Al-Sisi said that he is ready to support the Futek factory, which produces energy-saving products, including lamps that can save consumers up to 50 per cent of their energy costs. His objective is to develop 90 or even 100 per cent of local components for such products, which will also provide employment opportunities.

According to local media reports, the Futek factory produces about one million lamps and five million bulbs a year, at a cost of 500 million Egyptian pounds.

In a related issue, President Al-Sisi has inaugurated five factories as part of the Ebda initiative, which seeks to develop Egyptian industry by localising and supporting local firms, particularly those involved in the manufacture of light transportation engines. The initiative is intended to support 789 existing factories and 497 new investors; it has received more than 1,692 applications for support.

In another context, Al-Sisi said during the celebration of Workers’ Day at the Eastern Company for the sugar industry that Egypt has no problem with any development happening around the world, as long as all are united. He ordered the establishment of an Emergency Relief Fund for irregular workers and the transfer of social and health account entitlements to the new fund. This will allow for investment and sustainable spending in emergencies and crises for irregular workers, he explained, maximising social and developmental returns.

The Egyptian president requested the activation of the fund as soon as legal procedures are completed, by disbursing an urgent relief payment of 1,000 Egyptian pounds for irregular workers who do not benefit from social protection programmes.