By Ahmed Salama
The heads of Investors Associations in Upper Egypt have accused the government of ignoring their demands, saying that factories in the area are facing closure.
The blamed the government for a lack of fuel and natural resources and the obstruction of logistical networks required to produce and export.
They stated that the government had not lived up to its promises to develop Upper Egypt to make it attractive for investors, even when several factories considered leaving the region once their overheads became too high.
“Investment in the region has suffered because the necessary steps have not been taken to ensure a stable investor environment,” said the President of the Investors Association of Suhag, Mahmoud Al-Shandaweeli. “Despite government promises to foster a positive investment climate and remove all obstacles to development, the problems still exist and have in fact gotten worse.”
He said the scarcity of diesel and gasoline has led many factories to temporarily suspend operation and forced others work with low levels of fuel. This also forced many factories to buy fuel on the black market at much higher rates, raising the cost of production at a time when the country is in the midst of a recession.
The president of the Investors Association of Qena, Khalid al-Washahi, said, “the problems facing Upper Egypt have significantly increased and nobody has given serious attention to the level of deterioration happening in industrial regions as a result of the lack logistical coordination between government and businesses.”
The head of the Investors Association of Aswan, Setouhi Mustafa, demanded that the government allocate money from the Utilities Fund for New Industrial Zones under the purview of Industrial Development Authority to support the improvement of infrastructure in Upper Egypt in order to lure investment.