The British American Tobacco Company decided to halt its activities in Egypt starting Thursday, and the decision includes stopping the company from importing its products from abroad as well as manufacturing them locally, Mariana Magdy, director of the company’s external and government relations department told Zawya on Wednesday.
Ibrahim Imbabi, head of the Cigarettes and Tobacco Division at the Federation of Egyptian Industries said in a statement on Wednesday that the division had received a notification from the company stating that it had exited the Egyptian market and liquidated its activity.
British American Tobacco is one of 4 foreign companies working in Egypt in the field of cigarettes and tobacco, and is manufactured by the Eastern Company, the only Egyptian company that owns factories.
The company has been operating in Egypt since 2000, offering Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike, Rothman, Winston and others products.
Mariana said: “The decision came after a global review by the company of its activities and an assessment of the long-term commercial feasibility. There are other markets affected, and Egypt is not the only one, and there are several other countries affected by the decision and factories closed.”
She added that the decision to stop operations in Egypt “came in light of the current global developments” and was mainly due to “the lack of economic feasibility of the company’s business in the Egyptian market.”
Mariana denied that the new license to manufacture cigarettes in Egypt – which was obtained by a competing company – had any connection with the decision.
She pointed out that the company has already started the legal procedures to end its activity in Egypt.
On the possibility of the company returning later to practice its activities in Egypt, she said that it is difficult to predict this now, pointing out that the matter depends mainly on the international reviews of the activities conducted by the company.
The company’s cigarettes’ has already increased since the decision, and this move might raise all tobacco price in the Egyptian market.