On Saturday 17 June 2017,the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Dr. Sahar Nasr visited Port Said, along with GAFI’s Acting CEO Mona Zoebae, where they were received by its Governor General Adel El Ghadban. They discussed increasing investments in Port Said, which had reached EGP 1.6 billion during the past 8 months, which helped provide 6000 job opportunities. Dr. Nasr stressed that the new Investment Law provided for several incentives for investors, which encouraged them to invest in Port Said.
The Minister and Governor took a look at the plan for the sewerage project at the Governorate to be implemented over 60,000 meters for the treatment of 25,000 meters of industrial wastes, catering for plants which are expected to reach around 300 during the upcoming period. The project will contain biological treatment tanks. The first phase is expected to be finalized on 25 April 2018 while the remaining phases will be finalized in August of the same year. Within this context, the Minister shed light on the environmental dimension of the project.
Dr. Nasr also visited Tarh Elbahr Mall where she visited SI Wiring Systems Egypt plant, specialized in manufacturing electricity components of cars. Its investments reached USD 500 million with exports to France, England and Germany. She also visited El Port Saidia Co. For Electrical Industries which manufactures street lights and other electrical products.
After that the Minister and Governor visited the Public Free Zone in Port Said along with Ms. Zoebae and Head of the Free Zones Sector at GAFI Mr. Ahmed Afifi. The total area of the Free Zone is 703,000 m2, including 85 different projects, in the fields of industries, storage, services, ready-made garments, chemical industries, engineering industries and production requirements. The public and private free zones included 85 projects worth USD 2.8 billion and exports worth USD 690 million in 2016, with 36,000 employees. In the private free zone alone, there are 16 projects worth approximately USD 1.5 billion and exports worth USD 300 million in 2016 with 9000 employees, while in the public free zone, there are 69 projects worth a total of USD 1.3 billion, and exports worth USD 390 in 2016, including 27000 employees.
The Minister explained that she was keen on visiting Port Said after President el-Sisi’s ratification of the Investment Law, in order to become familiarized with investment opportunities there, as well as the laborers’ problems, noting that a priority for her, was to increase the private sector’s developmental role.
She pointed out that she was committed to solving the sewerage and industrial waste problems in Port Said, noting that there would be cooperation between MIIC and the Ministry of Housing to support social housing for youth in the governorate.
As per her words, investment was a priority for the government, based on which the Law was drafted in a manner that would attract investors and give incentives to intensive labor sectors, which would help enhance living conditions, while reiterating that MIIC was keen on eliminating bureaucracy and facilitating matters for investors.
The Governor expressed his appreciation of the Minister’s efforts and support of Port Said Governorate, noting that, upon cooperation with MIIC, over 48 land plots were offered to investors in Port Said and that contracts would be awarded soon. He pointed out that 5 plants were in the pipeline and that 4 tourism resorts were offered to investors.
An overview of challenges facing investors in Port Said, including sewerage and bureaucracy, was conveyed by several investors themselves.
The Minister, on the other hand, explained that an investors services center would be set up in each governorate. She noted that the Investors Call Center was launched with hotline 16035 to reply to investors’ inquiries, adding that investors could now finalize procedures online.
The Financial Lease Law would be amended soon after the amendment of the Capital Market Law and the Companies Law, explained the Minister, who added that a unit would be established for solving investors’ problems prior to referring them to the dispute settlement committee.
Among the establishments visited by the Minister, were Lotus Garments Company, which investments have reached USD 37 million, with exports worth USD 119 in 2016, Middle East Tailoring Court. (Metco) which investments have reached USD 10 million with exports worth USD 22 million in 2016, and 971 Egyptian employees and 35 expatriates.