The spiraling price hike on printing supplies and equipment has left graphic arts industry in Egypt in disarray. However based on a report published in Al Shorfa the sector has a huge untapped potential.
Shehata Abdul Qader of Egypt’s Chamber of Printing Industries says;” The printing industry is experiencing many problems due to its diversity and variety as it encompasses different kinds of publications, whether literary, scientific or cultural, as well as newspapers, textbooks, other school supplies and commercial printing such as labels and packaging.”
According to Abdul Qader printing is a nine billion Egyptian pound ($1.3 billion) industry, with one billion ($144 million) coming from commercial cover printing, one and a half billion ($215 million) from textbooks and the rest from books, newspapers and magazines.
The industry employs approximately 200,000 workers, and there are currently 4,900 licensed printing houses and 10 paper factories in Egypt.
He adds,” There is a trend towards building new factories as part of external agreements made between the Chamber of Printing and the Industrial Modernisation Centre.
“Since 2010 more than 70 new printing houses started their operation in Egypt. Additionally, a number of large bookstores have opened branches in most parts of Alexandria, Cairo and Giza.” said Safi Abdul Mohsen, who heads a Cairo-based printing house.
Piracy is another stumbling block in the development of modern printing industry in Egypt.