According to Shafaqna news, Japan Tobacco International (JTI) has submitted a complaint to the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA), alleging that Egypt’s largest tobacco manufacturer Oriental Company has a monopoly in the market.
A senior source said the complaint concerns JTI's Gold Coast brand, which competes with Oriental's lower-priced cigarettes in the Egyptian market.
The source added that JTI used to produce the brand at its factory in Turkey before importing and selling it in Egypt. However, recent tax amendments imposed VAT on low-priced cigarettes, preventing JTI from importing the brand and limiting its sales to local production.
There have been several controversial incidents in the Egyptian cigarette market over the past year. That includes issuing new licenses decades after Eastern became the only government-owned producer and selling a 30% stake in Eastern to Global Investment Holdings for $625 million.