Ganzouri’s cabinet has approved the transformation of the Industrial Modernization Center (IMC) into a centre that focuses on the development of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The goal of the new centre is to offer a variety of services to SMEs, as they account for 90% of total business in Egypt, provide 65% of the employment market and produce 45% of the country’s exports.
Minister of Business and Foreign Trade, Mohamed Eysa stated that the new centre is intended to serve as an umbrella organization for all SMEs subject to all ministries, and would tend to enterprises in the sectors of industry, agriculture, and tourism.
Eysa noted that hundreds of agencies exist in Egypt responsible for small enterprises but that there is a lack of co-ordination between them, which is why they are not being assisted properly.
Ibrahim Heydo, President of the Industrial Training Council (ITC), hailed the decision to transform the IMC into an agency to serve SMEs as the first step towards the economic reformation of the country, stressing that they are the cornerstone of any advanced economy.
According to Mamdoh Saad El-Din, a member of the ITC, several meetings will be held in the coming weeks between business organizations in order to come up with the best plan for the centre to develop SMEs. He called for the establishment of an “export council” and an independent chamber for SMEs that would be subject to the Egyptian Federation of Industries.
Hisham Wagdi, head of the IMC, emphasised the need to develop a clear strategic vision to develop SMEs, calling for new regulations that would not only facilitate the process for entrepreneurs to start new businesses, but also to attract and incentivise Egypt’s youth to do so.