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Doing Business in and with Egypt - Import and Export Opportunities

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The Egyptian people are said to be amongst the friendliest in the world, willing to help out strangers in need and offering generous welcomes. However being an Arab and Islamist state there are many social and cultural behaviours that are different to those of the west. This is true not only in day to day life, but also when meeting and negotiating in a business capacity, even down to the greetings. There are many various ways to greet people in Egyptian culture depending on the person and situation, therefore if conducting business with people in Egypt it isbest to allow them to initiate the greeting that they feel is appropriate.

There are several behaviours that need to be avoided when doing business in the country, including crossing your legs when seated and showing the sole of your foot, both of which are thought to be offensive. As too is giving thumbs up as a positive sign, not only in Egypt but the entire Arab world. The left hand is considered dirty, and any gesture should be given with your right hand, as too the passing of any gift to your counterpart.

When conducting business in Egypt it’s important to know when business is conducted and how. The typical working and business day in Egypt is seasonal, with working days in the summer between 8am and 2pm and in the winter  9am to 1pm with an extra 2 hours in the evening between 5pm and 7pm. It is also important to note that Friday is the Muslim holy day so no work will be conducted on this day, and very often not on Thursdays either. Also during the period of Ramadan many businesses and government offices have shortened hours.

You can find some helpful information on doing business in Egypt from the Egyptian British Chamber of Commerce in London. Learn more also about flights and travel to Egypt.

5 Products worth importing from Egypt

Egypt with its coastal location which makes it ideal for freight shipments, is also a fascinating country for importing from, with a number of great products. Below 5 products you might want to consider importing from Egypt.

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