14 March 2014
Category : Opinion
Egypt and Spain, united by safe consumption
Two years of support to the Egyptian consumer to modernize its market and its society
The 15th of March, International Consumer Rights Day, is the closing date of a cooperation project between Egypt and a consortium made up of Spain, Germany and France for consumer protection in this North African country: “Strengthening of the consumer protection network and improvement of the capacities of the Consumer Protection Agency”. The FIIAPP has participated in the management of the project since its creation in 2012, in which progress has been achieved in Egyptian society through consumption with guarantees.
Lack of protection, safety and control were some of the habitual problems Egyptian consumers faced on a daily basis. The Egyptian government sought to put an end to this situation in 2006, the year it passed the first consumer protection law. This law brought the creation of the first Consumer Protection Agency (CPA)a year later. Based on this project, all of these initiatives have been strengthened.
If something is to be highlighted in this cooperation, it is the ability shown by the institutions to achieve success starting from such different cultures, indicates Alejandro Salcedo, Spanish director of the project: “The added value of a pluralistic approach is worth highlighting, such as that provided from Germany, France and Spain with different organizational systems, but which made it possible to establish synergies and, especially, offered an opportunity for best practices in each of them according to activity and management areas”.
The Egyptians saw how their lives improved with quality, more hygienic and wholesome products, and they’ve managed to change the image of their products, which is very important if we take into account that tourism is one of the principal economic engines of the country.
Looking ahead to the future
The activity of FIIAPP is evident in education, the market, healthcare, tourism, industry and law, as it creates a domino effect that extends the advances in consumer protection to all areas. Greater protection generates greater safety, trust and modernization. The Spanish project leader indicates that these benefits are not temporary but rather were designed to last over time, and that it will be possible to extend them to other countries. “The enhancement of the exchange of experiences and the establishment of cooperation channels between the participating countries can give the project results future sustainability”, he points out.
These advances are visible at all levels, as they improve the functioning of institutions and strengthen the image of Egypt in the world, in addition to strengthening the bonds between Egypt and the European Union. “It is foreseeable that as trading levels with Egypt increase, a convergent approach will be required in the area of consumer protection, and that this, in turn, can be extended to other African countries in the region, fostering the creation of denser, more complex trade networks”, concludes Salcedo. The project is a clear example of how the protection of citizens’ rights improves life for the population and serves as a model for countries in the region.
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