Egypt - Country Commercial Guide
Selling Factors & Techniques

Identifies common practices used in selling in this market, including sales material that needs to be in the local language.

Last published date: 2022-08-08

Egyptians with whom an American will deal in business are often bilingual (English-Arabic), well-traveled individuals who pride themselves on making good deals at decent prices. Mid-level government officials with whom a foreigner may deal may be less well-traveled but are no less sophisticated negotiators.

Negotiations for sale, whether with a government agency or a private individual, will be bound by certain Egyptian cultural traditions. One is that there is no final best price that cannot be reduced further by negotiating. A corollary is that only a neophyte would offer one’s best price, or anything close to it, early in negotiations. Government employees are judged on their ability to squeeze the final penny from the lowest bidder. This repeatedly happens at every level of decision-making because it gives Egyptian officials the appearance of trying to get the best deal for Egypt.

When considering the Egyptian market, it is advisable to take a long-term approach to the market rather than seeking immediate returns. It is highly recommended that U.S. companies enter the Egyptian market via a well-placed agent or distributor, particularly for selling to government agencies. Established agents and distributors offer in-depth knowledge of local laws and regulations and they can offer key introductions in a society that is relationship-based. Agents can coordinate transactions with an Egyptian buyer, including after-sales service, and assist in finalizing transactions to their client’s satisfaction. Additionally, agents and distributors play a public relations role, promoting a U.S. company’s brand, products or services to a wide network of contacts within Egypt.