The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) has launched the seventh session of the Egyptian exports support programme, “Export IT,” which includes several information technology (IT) products and services.
The agency has called upon Egyptian companies that export these services and products to apply so that they would benefit from the direct financial support—with a 10% minimum and a 20% maximum—from the value added for exports and the yield collected in 2015.
According to Asmaa Hosny, CEO of ITIDA, the agency has allocated EGP 40m for the current session to encourage domestic companies to increase their exports of IT products and services.
She added that there is a target to increase the number of companies benefitting from the programme to 1,000, especially with the availability of the government’s distinguished support and the efforts exerted by the agency. This includes its sponsorship of innovation and of the youth’s creative ideas, as well as its support of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to penetrate foreign markets.
Moreover, the agency is implementing an initiative for technological learning with a budget estimated at EGP 160m. It aims to educate Egyptian youth who would be familiar with several fields of technology in the sectors of communication, IT, and electronics, such as cyber security, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and embedded software. This takes place along with the implementation of a project to spread technology in several governorates.
Hosny stressed that during this year’s session of the programme, the agency is adopting a new strategy to support exports, mainly aiming to encourage companies to increase their exports of products and services with an increased global demand. In its new session, the programme offers extra support for E-design, E-health, and E-gaming with a 2%-addition on top of the already announced amount.
For the first time in the programme’s history, the agency announced the introduction of an electronic signature so that companies would abandon paper. This aims to help companies provide their documents electronically and issue electronic certificates to each of them, where about 120 Egyptian companies have applied for the electronic signature certificates from ITIDA.
The value added is defined as the difference between the company’s revenues from exporting, collected by the company’s bank account in Egypt in 2015, and the direct costs of exporting, such as the costs of program licensing, the cost of devices and equipment used in the export process, with the aim of maximising the value added of exports of the companies that receive support.
More than 140 Egyptian companies managed to obtain support, estimated at EGP 190m since launching the programme in 2010. This is an encouragement for Egyptian companies in the programme to increase their IT exports, which are worth a total of EGP 3.8bn, according to the programme’s statistics over the past years.