Foreign tobacco companies tapping the Egyptian market will not harm sales of Egypt's Eastern Company, which, its board chairman Nabil Abdel Aziz says, targets a broader segment of the Egyptian people.
The tobacco cannot be classified as a luxurious product because it has become a matter of national security, Abdel Aziz told MENA
He expected tobacco negotiations with Russia's Agrocom group to resume as President Valdimir Putin visits Egypt
The Eastern Company, Abdel Aziz said, is seeking to maximize revenues by opening new markets in Africa
It is highly unlikely that revenues of the national tobacco company will be affected with four foreign firms from the US, Japan and the UK tapping the market, Abdel Aziz believes.
Some four million people work, whether directly or indirectly, in tobacco production and marketing, he said.
Asked about a lawsuit filed to shut down the Eastern Company in Giza, Sharqiya and Alexandria, Abdel Aziz said that talking about closing an "economic edifice" whose revenues reach as much as that of the Suez Canal and the tourism sector is "nonsense".
The Eastern Company is a source of income for about 14,000 families, he noted.
The national tobacco company plays an important role in curbing the rise in tobacco prices, Abdel Aziz said.
The Eastern Company is an Egyptian joint stock company; a subsidiary to the Chemical Industries Holding Company.