Good start and greater ambitions
By the Gazette Editorial Board
About 100 Egyptian companies are preparing to jointly raise the ‘Made-in-Egypt’ banner in the neighbouring western Arab state of Libya. A trade fair is to be held under the auspices of the Council of Libyan Businessmen (CLB) in Benghazi. And the Council’s chairwoman, Fawziya al-Ferjani, praised the fair for being an optimistic message – the first, she said, of its kind – from war-ravaged Libya to the outside world since the ousting of its leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Like several Arab states, Egypt’s western neighbour plunged knee-deep into a pool of blood when terrorists linked to Al-Qaeda and IS and financed by Turkey and Qatar, savagely deposed Gaddafi and possessed themselves of power in this oil-rich country.
The ensuing chaos and bloodshed terrorised the Libyans and caused their African and European neighbours to live in a pervasive nightmare.
Victories have been won – on different battlefields – by Gen. Khalifa Haftar, who is commander of the Libyan National Army.These are now reverberating in the cities and towns of eastern Libya. Gen. Haftar has also defeated the terrorists, who seized oilfields to finance their criminal activities.
Apparently filled with optimism over the economic results, Ms al-Ferjani asserted that the ‘Made-in-Egypt’ trade exhibition in Benghazi carried several messages and reinforced a great many aspirations in post-Gaddafi Libya.
Quoted by the CLB’s spokesman, Mohamed Bin Ghuzi, Ms. al-Ferjani emphasised that the Egyptian companies would collaborate to broadcast this message – profitable politically as well as economically – to the world that “Benghazi is completely safe and substantially stable.”
CLB’s chairwoman also confirmed that the ‘Made-in-Egypt’ trademark had undoubtedly opened the Libyan market for Egyptian goods. She was also quoted as saying that the prices of the ‘Made-in-Egypt’ trade fair would appeal to the Libyans. There are also plans that the trade fair should tour the Libyan areas freed from terrorists and their armed militia allies.
There is hardly any doubt that the success of the Egyptian trade fair in post-Gaddafi Libya will encourage its organisers and sponsors to look for successes in other Arab and African countries. The Arab world and Africa was, after all,once a thriving market for Made-in- Egypt goods.
The trade fair in Benghazi will give the private and public sector a great opportunity to restore the reputation of ‘Made-in-Egypt’ goods, which was disastrously shaken by the unhappy influx of Asian products into Egypt in the past 15 years. And,looking at the issue from a different angle, we should doff our hats to our government for encouraging and helping young entrepreneurs to market their products domestically and abroad.