Egypt's Minister of Military production Mohamed El-Assar said on Tuesday that the ministry's factories and companies do not aim to compete with private sector companies, highlighting that 70 percent of the ministry's projects are undertaken in partnership with the private sector, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.
The minister's comments came during his meeting with a number of reporters from online national outlets and newspapers at the ministry's headquarters.
"41 major projects are being implemented in cooperation with private investment companies, following coordination with the chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Industries," said El-Assar.
The minister highlighted during the meeting the importance of such projects, which include the construction of cities and factories, and their positive impact on the economy and the Egyptian market.
El-Assar said that he met with businessmen partnered with the ministry on these projects and stressed the total support of the country's leadership for the private sector, which he said is considered "the backbone of [Egyptian] industry."
"We have huge projects which are based on the triangle of success of the state, partnership with the private sector and cooperation with major countries," said El-Assar.
Speaking about the most important joint projects, the minister said that they are working on the production of utilities smart meters, a solar-powered desalination plant and solar panels which would produce multiple gigawatts per year.
The minister added that among the ongoing projects is the establishment of a manufacturing company for elevators and escalators, another for medical equipment, one for vehicle security checks and many others.
Observers say the Armed forces economic projects have grown over the past years, and critics fear impact on private sector.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said in March that the military's economic activity makes up only around 2-3 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), dismissing speculation that the armed forces control as much as half of the economy.
The armed forces' economic activities vary from supplying food commodities, carrying out infrastructure projects, and producing diverse goods, equipment and raw materials.