Egypt’s government announced that it will amend a clause within the country’s bids and tenders law which calls for industrial land to be sold at specified prices, the official news agency MENA reported on Saturday, citing Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade.
He stated that the agreement does not view such land as a product to be sold as much as a tool that can be used to encourage the growth of the industry. In a statement made during a meeting hosted by the Egyptian Lebanese Business Association (ELBA), Abdel Nour stated that EGP 3bn had recently been set aside to help develop industrial lands set to be made available to investors in 36 regions throughout the country. The meeting was attended by Lebanese ambassador to Egypt Khaled Ziade, in addition to a number of Egyptian and Lebanese banking officials, members of the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI), along with industrialists and businessmen from both countries.
Abdel Nour added that Egypt’s government had recently entered into negotiations to pay back the debt held by the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) to mining companies, estimated to total $5.5bn, in order to provide incentive for international companies to increase their production within the country. He expressed his hope that the move would help contribute to the development of a road map for increased production of new and renewable energy sources within the country, such as wind and solar. He further stated that after negotiations with the Egyptian Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs, cement companies would be allowed to use coal during production as long as its usage was in accordance with environmental standards.
He added that statistics currently available regarding the number of factories that had been shutdown throughout the country were inaccurate and that financial policies are currently being put in place to save those in danger of being shut down. He further stated that an agreement had been reached calling for banks to help provide funding for the construction of additional industrial facilities.
Abdel Nour said that the government was combating the spread of unfair dumping policies, adding that Egypt’s new leadership was keen on avoiding the propagation of practices that hurt state commerce.
He stated that the country’s export councils had all agreed on a new export support program with the exception of the country’s Furniture and Agriculture councils. Although the amount of aid stipulated in the program may not currently be enough, he said, the government has stated that it is willing to fulfill its side of the agreement and increase its support for Egyptian companies in the future.