Port Said business official: 60 percent of city commerce restored

Port Said business official: 60 percent of city commerce restored

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Sun, 03/02/2013 - 20:00

Sixty percent of Port Said commercial activity has been restored following recent violence, said Mohamed al-Masry, vice chief of the Federation of Egypt Chambers of Commerce and head of the Port Said Chamber of Commerce.

All bank branches in the city, except two private ones, resumed work Sunday, Masry told Al-Masry Al-Youm, adding that all bank transactions took place normally. He also expected all activities to be restored after a week, when security and foreign investments return back.

Mostafa al-Zalat, financial director of the Port Said Banks Club, said banking transactions in Port Said would resume at the Central Bank of Egypt branch, as well as foreign and state banks, after calm is completely restored to the city, especially following arrest of suspects accused of thuggery and rioting Thursday.

Forty-six people were killed in Port Said when violence erupted on 26 January, after a court recommended the death sentence for 21 defendants, accused of killing at least 72 Ahly football team fans last February.

Citizens broke the curfew and state of emergency imposed by President Mohamed Morsy for a month to confront the violence. However, Morsy later backtracked from the decision and authorized governors to reduce or cancel the curfew.

Youssef Azzam, member of the chamber of commerce in Port Said, said trade started returning to normal.

Al-Hemeidy market area saw limited purchasing actions after being halted for one week, Azzam told news agencies. Shipments of vegetables, fruits and food supplies arrived in Port Said under security imposed by the 2nd Field Army.

Regarding work in factories of the free zone, Fouad Thabet, head of the investors’ assembly in Port Said, said plants has been working regularly since Saturday. Production has resumed to make up for the delay in turning in shipments.

But many workers from other governorates did not come to Port Said, fearing clashes with their colleagues, Thabet said, adding that absence rate was estimated at 20 percent, representing 36,000 workers.