One of the joys of travelling is bringing home souvenirs. And when I went to Egypt for the first time I was looking forward to buying little pieces of Egypt and bringing them home. But when I stopped to look at replica of Tutankhamen, or anything else, my guide would pull me aside and say, “Don’t buy that, it is made in China.”
I understood their frustration, but what was I to do?
The following article was just published in an Egyptian Newspaper. If implemented the end of “Made in China” might be in sight!
Egypt’s Trade and Industry Ministry has issued a ban on the import of all Egyptian souvenirs made abroad, announced Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour on Saturday.
The Ministry’s decision bans the import of souvenirs and products of “artistic and folkloric nature, as well as archaeological models” reported Al-Masry Al-Youm. According to the Ministry, the move aims to preserve Egypt’s artistic heritage and promote the purchase of locally made souvenirs and products.
Among the types of gifts and souvenirs which have been banned from import are objects made of wood, mosaics, metals, jewels, carpets, paintings, sculptures, objects made of marble, fake alabaster and more.
Visitors to Egypt often encounter souvenirs made in China, which are often of a lesser quality than Egyptian produced souvenirs. The influx of Chinese-made souvenirs had also impacted local businesses and contributed to unemployment, said the Minister.
The decision to ban the import of foreign made souvenirs comes as the tourism industry is slowly recovering. According to Egypt’s new Tourism Minister Khaled Ramy, the government hopes to raise $20 billion in revenue from tourism by 2020 by attracting 20 million visitors.
So in the future when souvenirs are “Made in Egypt” it might be a reason to go back and get the real thing!
More from Egypt soon