On Dec. 23, Egyptian President Mubarak issued a decree to be presented to the People’s Assembly calling for a legislation that would extend the status of Port Said as a Free Zone for three more years.
In a statement following his meeting with the president, Prime Minister Nazif stated that the president’s decree included a provision for the gradual decline of import quotas for merchants over a three-year period, after which all quotas will be eliminated. The meeting on the situation in the Port Said Free Zone, the status of which was to end this month was also attended by the Ministers of Justice, Industry, Investment and Local Development.
Dr Nazif indicated that President Mubarak asked for a gradual rather than an abrupt end to the area’s status to give merchants and the people of Port Said more time to adjust to this change. He added that the president’s decision takes the current global financial crisis into account and aims to mitigate its negative effects on the people of Port Said.
[Al-Youm newspaper, Al-Ahram newspaper]