Doing Business with Egypt
PaulSourcing: Ten Commandments for doing business with Egypt
The PaulSourcing agency has prepared ten recommendations for doing business with Egypt for Czech entrepreneurs interested in business relations with Egypt. In 2020, it was supplemented with 4 current tips.
4 recommendations for entering the Croatian market during the coronavirus pandemic situation:
- The possibility of entering Egypt From July 1, international airports in Egypt are gradually opening, and regular flights are slowly starting to fly from European capitals. This is very important information for many Czech businessmen, who have been practically prevented from entering the territory since March. Although Egypt has not particularly coped with the pandemic, the government has decided that it is necessary to relax the measures and restore the economy, and especially the absolutely vital tourism. Due to the not completely controlled epidemic, some air connections from European countries are being suspended again.
- Searching for suitable business partners Establishing any business relations with Egyptian partners (that is, unless they themselves approach Czech companies) is practically impossible to do from a desk in the office. There is no public database of companies here. Paid databases are mostly the creation of European companies focused on this activity. It follows that there are at most unverified lists with very misleading data and contacts. Without a representative of a Czech company personally meeting a potential partner on Egyptian soil, he will practically not get access to any relevant contacts, phone numbers or even a functioning email address.At this stage, it is possible to use the functioning of the foreign office of PaulSourcing Cairo, which can not only verify the chosen company, but also prepare a visit program with the Egyptian partner and verify interest in products or technologies.
- Thorough preparation for the meeting It is necessary to prepare the visit precisely, because there is a lot of competition from Europe and Asia in practically all fields. Above all, it is necessary to have prepared arguments why Czech goods are unique and comparable in price, as price is absolutely essential in the local market. Before the trip, it is usually advisable to discuss ways of financing a possible export.
- Verification of the functioning of Egyptian companies Although the Egyptian government did not shut down the economy completely in the previous months, many companies are operating in a limited mode and it is necessary to specifically verify whether the company has started operating in the standard mode. Here it is possible to use the services of the foreign office of PaulSourcing Cairo, which can verify interest in new contacts from the Czech Republic or in further follow-up steps in previously discussed business activities.
Ten Commandments for Trading with Egypt
- Be patient Negotiations with Arabs tend to be lengthy, often interrupted, and all require repeated meetings. You need to be patient, take your time and pay attention to the initial dating phase. An Arab does business “through a person” and not “through a company”, therefore it is important to convince him of his trustworthiness and establish good personal and friendly relations with him. Arabs do not trust people who do not seem sincere or who fail to show personal interest. They are wary of people who show a rush or pressure their partner to make a deal.
- Use Arabic Arabs are very proud of their language and consider it one of their greatest cultural assets. Therefore, in Egypt it is advantageous to conduct negotiations in Arabic with the help of one’s own or domestic interpreter. It is essential to have business cards, preferably in Arabic on one side and English on the other.
- Do not go during the holidays . Business trips to Egypt are not suitable during the summer heat. A favorable time to visit is not even during religious holidays, especially the fasting month of Ramadan.
- Tolerate delays Business in Egypt has a long tradition, partners are experienced negotiators. Even here, however, a different understanding of time usually applies, any lateness of the partner must be tolerated. On the contrary, foreigners are advised to arrive on time. The contract is more important here, but rather as a framework of cooperation, later modifications are not excluded, all conditions do not have to be observed. Haste is an obstacle to success, patience and caution pay off, price negotiations are demanding, haggling is typical.
- Extend your hand A long hand held by the host when welcoming is an expression of hospitality. It can also happen that the Egyptian partner accompanies you in company and holds your hand. This too is an expression of friendship, without any other intentions to be sought in it. A pronounced expression of friendship is a hug with a short touch of both cheeks. It is similar to the French greeting custom, but in Egypt it is a touch once on the left cheek and one or more times on the right cheek.
- Don’t underestimate your appearance. Egyptians prefer classic clothing (suit and tie) and a clean and well-groomed appearance when dealing with formal work. He enjoys fashion and elegance.
- Prepare documents in Arabic You need to be well prepared for negotiations with your Egyptian partner. You must have the necessary materials ready in Arabic or English. The acting representative should have the appropriate decision-making competence, a clear answer is expected right on the spot.
- Use a local agent In Egypt, it is a great advantage to have a local agent. Through it you will get the necessary connections.
- Don’t forget gifts and a thank you letter Egyptians are hospitable. You are usually invited to lunch or dinner. Give them back in kind. Choose Czech glass as a gift and avoid non-Islamic religious symbolism. In addition to gifts, we cannot help but recommend that after each negotiation, even if it is not successful, the Egyptian counterpart receives a letter of thanks. This is doubly true when dealing with civil servants who expect short thank-you letters.
- Choose a good topic to talk about Egyptians have a sense of humor, are sociable and like to have fun. However, caution is needed when talking about a religious or political topic.