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News ID: 107854
Publish Date : 16 October 2022 - 21:22
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CAIRO (Arab News) – The high price of importing a ton of paper, which has now reached 35,000 Egyptian pounds ($1,782), is causing a crisis in the Egyptian publishing market.
“Publishers face the importers’ mafia, and every hour they sell a ton of paper at a different price,” said Said Abdo, head of the Egyptian Publishers Association and director of Dar al-Maarf, the oldest publishing house in Egypt.
Abdo said that the import process across the world had been hit by the severe economic crisis in the wake of COVID-19 and then the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
Abdo added that locally made paper did not satisfy the needs of the Egyptian market, as its production met less than 20 percent of its needs.
A crisis had occurred with the increase in demand and the lack of supply, Abdo said.
Yousef Nassef, owner and founder of the al-Masry publishing house, told Arab News: “The price of paper is high. I asked the importers we deal with, and they told me about different prices even though the material and type are the same.”
Nassef said: “Now we are threatened, and we are approaching the Cairo International Book Fair in January with a shortage in production.
“I have not yet talked about ink, printing materials, shipping, insurance and, of course, the problems of customs accreditation.”
Nassef added: “These are problems that threaten us before the book fair season, which we rely on to make gains.”
He called for state intervention to save the publishing industry.
Nassef said that it was possible to act to boost local paper production and create a plan to prevent a monopoly of suppliers.
Dar Shams, founder of Islam Shams El-Din, told Arab News: “We have suffered from stagnation for a while, and I think the situation will get worse as long as local production is not enough, and as long as the war is still going on.”

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