Eastern Company intends to present to the House of Representatives a feasibility study on tobacco cultivation in Egypt, according to a story in the Daily News Egypt.
Currently, tobacco cannot be grown in Egypt legally.
The News story said that parliament’s approval was considered a significant step but that any proposal would have to go before the Egyptian armed forces and the Ministry of Agriculture.
Eastern wants to be able to source tobacco locally rather than bear the high costs of importing it, according to chairperson Mohammed Osman.
In addition, the company has apparently faced difficulties in importing tobacco in the past due to foreign currency shortages.
While a special Eastern committee was said to have completed feasibility studies related to tobacco cultivation in Egypt, it was said too that the committee had [only] begun to look for sites in the desert that could be suitable for growing tobacco for the Egyptian market.
Eastern, which manufacturers cigarettes for foreign manufacturers, is said to have 71 percent of the market, while Philip Morris has 24 percent and three other foreign companies share five percent.