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ABB closes Egypt factories over unrest

ABB closes Egypt factories over unrest

Published: 01 Feb 2011 15:46 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Feb 2011 15:46 GMT+01:00

Swiss Swedish engineering giant ABB said on Tuesday that it had decided to temporarily shut factories in Egypt due to the continued unrest in the country.

"As a precaution we have closed factories temporarily," a spokesperson for the

group told the AFP news agency.

ABB employs about 1,600 people in the country, where it has an annual turnover of about $300 million dollars, and builds power generation equipment and industrial robots.

Separately, Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson declared on Monday that it has no evacuation plans for its employees in Egypt, of whom 85 are non-Egyptians.

"Our main focus is the safety of our employees and to be able to support our clients. We follow the situation hourly and see to it that our employees are kept updated," said Ericsson's Fredrik Hallstan.

"Our employees can work from home if they so wish. And if they stay at home they are kept regularly informed over the precautions and recommendations that they should follow," he added.

Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians rallied on Tuesday for the biggest day of protests yet in their campaign to oust President Hosni Mubarak.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

23:35 February 1, 2011 by Nemesis
Exporting European jobs to unsable countries is not in our best interest.

These jobs should be brought back to Europe.
06:31 February 2, 2011 by warriorwithin
@Nemesis.The jobs are not exported, only the product is. Most companies have their design and engineering dept in europe and only have sales teams in developing countries.
08:53 February 2, 2011 by voidplay
It is funny when you call them "European jobs" because most of European economies are export oriented.

So most of these jobs are from non-European countries (especially in the case of Ericsson).

But now that they are facing competition from the emerging economies, they are forced to do more sustainable business with the rest of the world.

The fear of the Chinese in Europe is the based on the following - what if they turn out to be just like us, or the Japanese :-), what if they monopolise our markets but shut us out of our jobs. (does it ring Ericsson, Scania, Skanska, ex-Volvo or Saab)
10:06 February 2, 2011 by Nemesis
@ warriorwithin,

Wrong.

Those European jobs building industrial robots and power plant generation equipment were exported starting two dcades ago and finalising a decade ago, by closing assembly lines in Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, UK, Italy and Germany. That hit suppliers in the entire EU. The majority of the goods made on the assembly lines in Egpyt are exported to Europe.

The jobs should be brought back to Europe to give jobs to European workers and to help with our balance of imports-exports.

Also the components they make for wind power generators should not be made in unstable countries without a fully fledged democracy. We are building massive amounts of alternative energy sources in Europe and we should not be relying on countries which have to have civil unrest to have a change of leader.

Our power generation should be supplied internally from Europe.

@ voidplay

Egpyt is nowhere near China and in fact is nothing to do with China. China is in the far east and Egpyt is in Africa.

As for European markets, Chinese companies will never send more than token production out of China as they know the consequences that would befall them from the Chinese authorities.
10:22 February 2, 2011 by voidplay
@Nemesis

In the case of Huawei VS Ericsson that is not very true - inspite of labour being expensive in Sweden compared to China.

I assume that when you said 'bring back the Europen jobs' you were meaning only the ones from Egypt ?
11:21 February 2, 2011 by Nemesis
@ voidplay.

I mean all of them. we have to many unemployed in Europe to play stupid neo-liberal economics games.
16:22 February 2, 2011 by voidplay
@nemesis

It is merely about the cost of doing business and nothing else
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