Head of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Mohab Mamish said in a statement on Wednesday that negotiations between Egypt and Russia on $7 billion worth of Russian investment in an industrial zone in the East Port Said region have been successful, with a final agreement set be finalised within coming months.
Mamish said that the negotiations were held in the presence of Russia’s deputy minister of trade and industry Georgy Kalamanov, who is currently on a visit to Egypt.
The project is part of efforts to encourage foreign and domestic investments in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.
The Russian zone for logistics industries, which is set to cover five square kilometres, will employ 35,000 people both directly and indirectly, with a 90 percent Egyptian workforce.
"Work in the zone will be divided into three phases, with the first to start in 2018, where Russia will act as an industrial developer to receive companies and global investors for two years," Mamish said.
Discussions with Russia on the details of the agreement started in 2014.
Over the past two years, Egypt has been seeking foreign investment for the Suez Canal Economic Zone, which is expected to include an international logistics hub and areas for light, medium and heavy industry, as well as commercial and residential developments.
The zone extends over 461 square kilometres across the three Suez Canal governorates of Suez, Port Said and Ismailia, and will include six maritime ports, to be completed by 2045.
The megaproject is part of a government plan to upgrade energy infrastructure, boost the economy and create jobs.