Daily News Egypt sat down with Yehia Zaki, the director of operations at Dar Al-Handasah, to follow up on the progress of the master plans, the most promising sectors for investment, and whether or not there will be projects announced in the March Economic Summit.
Can you tell us about the progress witnessed on the development of six ports in the Suez Canal development project?
We have worked on all of them, and right now we have the suggestions for the master plans that will stay as they are, and the ones that will require some further amendments. The ones that will require amendments will be mainly at the Port Said port.
You have previously stated that the Port Said port has a high potential. Can you tell us more about it?
It has great potential. There’s a global interest in trans-shipment, which means that a mother ship can unload cargos or containers to smaller ships and those ships head to different ports. That is one reason. The world trade marine movement is showing interest on the trade of containers, and this is what we are focusing on for the Port Said port. During the past 10 years, this trade has increased notably and it has future potential worldwide. The placement of the Port Said port is not high, compared to its potential. The master plan must take into account this potential and address the needs of the world trade movement. The level of trade in containers at Port Said port is less than 3 million containers [per year] but it can have much bigger potential. In 15 years, containers trade can be over 20 million [per year]. Port Said port has another advantage because the ships do not have to pass by the Suez Canal but through the Mediterranean trade. Trade is also heading to rely on deep ports that can accommodate giant ships.
Was Dar Al- Handasah approached by specific companies or industries showing interest in the project?
It’s a two way relationship. Companies have approached us and we approached them because some of our data was based on surveys. They are interested in discussing legislations, investment incentives and the infrastructures.
Will there be specific projects announced in the March Economic Summit?
The Economic Summit’s purpose is to showcase the positive environment for investing in Egypt. It is not necessary to buy or sell project. We intend, however, to profile some projects. We will take an electricity project and show it as example.
How many projects will be profiled then?
That is still undecided.
What are the sectors that have shown interest in Suez Canal project?
The textile, pharmaceutical, petrochemical and automotive industries are the ones that showed the most interest.