By Mohamed Darwish
Minister of Industry and Trade, Hatem Saleh, confirmed the Ministry will take measures to protect national industry. The Ministry hopes to put the Egyptian industrial sector on par with its international counterparts. The announcement comes while the Ministry is instating international trade laws and regulations.
The decisions followed a meeting held by the Minister with the board of Federation of Investors Association to examine the problems and obstacles faced by industrial zones.
The Minister stressed the necessity of reemploying idle capacities to increase productivity and limit imports.
Saleh explained that the coming period will witness an increase in industrial investments, particularly after the security stabilisation. In addition, the government and all of its authorities are striving to create a suitable environment for propelling development and investment. This, however, requires the cooperation of both the public and the private sector. The latter is the government’s main development partner to revive the Egyptian industry.
Regarding investors’ complaints regarding facilities, especially in industrial cities, Saleh confirmed that the government’s top priority is extending infrastructure to industrial zones across different governorates. A large budget has been allocated and approved for these kinds of projects, he added, and a meeting will soon be held with authorities in charge of providing natural gas to industrial zones to solve this crisis rapidly.
Mohamed Farid Khames, Director of Federation of Investors’ Association, stressed the necessity of raising the calibre of Egyptian industry to the level of foreign industry so that the local industry is able to compete on a global level and increase its exports.
Dr Moharram Helal, Director of 10th of Ramadan Investors’ Association, and First Deputy for Egyptian Union for Investor’s Association, emphasised the need to resolve the problems of 10th of Ramadan investors. Most importantly, providing natural gas to new factories and finding effective funding mechanisms to increase industry’s development rates in the coming period.
Hassan Rateb, President of the Union, highlighted the importance of creating more incentives for Sinai investors and resolving the issues constituting obstacles to industrial development. Industry in Sinai can be greatly motivated after the state takes the necessary measures to restore safety and security in the Sinai, he said.
Setouhy Mostafa, Director of Aswan’s Investors’ Association, demanded that governorates of Upper Egypt should benefit from the privileges and incentives provided by the Ministry to support industrial development in Upper Egypt. He also suggested appointing a board of trustees for industrial zones in Upper Egypt to help investors and place Upper Egypt under the Minister’s dependence.
Alaa Elsokty, Director of Badr City Investors’ Association, said that Ethiopia distributed one million square metres of land to Egypt that is dedicated to industrial investment. A single metre will cost EGP 0.5 and will be leased for 99 years. A collaborative effort is essential, he said, particularly since African markets in general, and the Ethiopian markets specifically, are keen on Egyptian investments.
The Ministry is also taking necessary measures to address smuggling outlets that harm domestic industry.