Egypt’s military has received the license required to form a pharmaceutical company, a decree by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail published on Sunday showed.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has often called in the military to assist in major infrastructure projects and with distribution of subsidized commodities to keep a lid on rising prices amid an acute shortage of dollars, reports Reuters.
Egypt has faced a drug shortage for months and the government raised prices on a number of medicines in January after months of negotiations with pharmaceutical companies hurt by dollar shortages and a weakening currency.
The economic weight of the military, which produces everything from bottled water to macaroni, has long been a topic of debate in Egypt.
Sisi said in December the military’s economic activity accounted for no more than two percent of the country’s output, dismissing suggestions the military could control as much as half of the economy.