Egypt has met resistance to selling Egyptian-made Mercedes to China from the parent company DaimlerChrysler, External Trade Minister Yusuf Boutros-Ghali said on Wednesday, according to an AFP report.
“Last year, through the Egyptian Commercial Service, we managed to unhook a contract for 250 Mercedes cars manufactured in Egypt to China,” Boutros-Ghali reportedly told a conference aimed at boosting investment in Arab countries.
“The Chinese were happy. We got the (Chinese) environmental and safety certification,” he added.
“We have now contracted for another 1,000 cars into China,” he said.
“The resistance comes from DaimlerChrysler,” he said in the AFP report, adding that in Germany, people are saying “this is our market. What are you guys doing here?”
“We’re getting difficulties from Germany not from China because the market is segmented into bits and pieces around the world,” he said, according to AFP.
“We Egyptians are supposed to produce Mercedes for the locals and as soon as we put our nose outside, we’re getting into playing with the territory of someone else,” the minister added.
“It’s very nice to say liberalize and open up etc, but when we do liberalize and open up, suddenly we start eating in somebody else’s market share,” he said.
Boutros-Ghali said the same type of export problem arises for trade not only between Egypt and China but between Egypt and other Arab countries, though he said the Arabs were putting up their own obstacles to trading among themselves.