x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Companies withdraw staff from Egypt amid unrest

Manufacturers are suspending production at their plants in Egypt and evacuating employees.

International manufacturers have suspended production at factories in the country and evacuated some employees.

General Motors (GM) has halted operations at its plant in 6th of October City near Cairo to ensure the safety of its workers, said John Stadwick, the president and managing director of GM Middle East.

"We've had no problems at the plant, but we have employees that have to travel through Cairo to get to the plant," Mr Stadwick said. "We thought during the current situation, for safety, it is best to close the plant."

He said GM was monitoring the situation closely and would bring people back when it was safe.

Daimler, in which Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments has a 9.1 per cent stake, stopped production of its Mercedes vehicles at its Egyptian joint venture, Bloomberg reported.

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The German car maker also moved a "low two-digit" number of workers home, it added.

Nissan also suspended operations at its plant in Egypt, which produces about 10,000 vehicles a year.

"We decided to close our assembly plant in Egypt due to the unstable political situation," Mitsuru Yonekawa, a Nissan spokesman, told Bloomberg. It also evacuated four of its employees.

Procter & Gamble has shut down its two plants and closed its head office in Cairo.

"Our focus … and prime responsibility is to ensure the security and well-being of employees, our visitors and our facilities," said Yassin Attas, the external relations director for the Middle East and Pakistan region.

The Dutch brewer Heineken also ceased production in Egypt for an undetermined period of time.

"We have evacuated our 25 expatriate employees on private planes, while we have asked our local employees to stay at home," John Clarke, a Heineken spokesman, told Dow Jones.

AkzoNobel said it had closed down its powder-coating facilities in Egypt, according to Dow Jones.

 

aligaya@thenational.ae