Egypt Prime Minister Seeking an Apple ‘Hub’ as Fight Over iPhone Prices Continues

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Egypt and Apple aren’t exactly seeing eye-to-eye at the time being, but it looks like the country’s Prime Minister doesn’t want to see Apple leave anytime soon.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite. CNBC recently sat down with Egypt’s Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly, and talked about how Apple could influence the region by way of some positive impact. PM Madbouly is basically hoping Apple can launch a “hub” of sorts within Egypt, and drop the necessity to rely on third-party agents to sell its products to potential customers in the region.

“I think Egypt is a big market and attractive for Apple to exist in directly. Apple has been in Egypt but through indirect agents, suppliers … But really, we discussed yesterday (with Apple), the idea really (is) to have Apple be in Egypt to be one of its industrial hubs and a destination to serve the whole region,” the prime minister told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.”

The Prime Minister also believes Apple can play a role in reforming education within Egypt. The country is starting to rely more and more on technology, especially in the educational market, and PM Madbouly thinks Apple can help in that regard.

“With our very ambitious program in reforming education, and how we are introducing now the technology for our students and children, and I believe here Apple can play a substantial role in that respect.”

All of this comes on the heels of Egypt’s declaration that Apple is violating competition laws within the country. Back at the beginning of December of last year, Egypt gave Apple only 60 days to respond to the complaint and take action to rectify the situation. At the time it was described as such:

“Egypt, where an iPhone can cost 50 percent more than elsewhere in the Middle East, has given Apple Inc. two months to end what it claims are unfair restrictions on local distributors — or face legal action.

The move against the Cupertino, California-based iPhone maker and its regional distributor comes just days after the Egyptian Competition Authority claimed they were violating local law by concluding exclusive distribution agreements.”

So, despite the fact the relationship between Apple and Egypt’s governing body might be a bit tense at the moment, the Prime Minister at least doesn’t want to see the company leave Egypt behind.

[via CNBC]

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