Egypt's Suez Canal Economic Zone Authority and Dubai Ports World signed a partnership agreement to develop an integrated industrial and residential zone in the Egypt's Red Sea coastal area of Sokhna, projected to start in the first quarter of 2018.
The agreement will establish a joint venture between SCZone (51%) and DP World (49%), with DP World managing the zone.
The Suez Canal Economic zone Authority's signing ceremony included seven contracts for projects with $40 billion in investments, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.
The agreements include a $3.5 billion contract between a consortium of real estate companies and the Economic Zone Authority for the industrial development of 5.5 million square meters of land in Ain Sokhna, as well as a $500 million financing of Sonker Bunkering Company and DP World Sokhna's liquid bulk terminal at Port Ain Sokhna.
Mohab Mamish, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority and the Economic Zone, and Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO, signed the agreement at a ceremony in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh on the sidelines of the World Youth Forum.
“This partnership demonstrates the commitment of DP World to support the growth of Egypt’s economy and reflects the trust we place in the determination of the government to make the project a success," said Bin Sulayem.
The development is aimed at creating a sustainable industrial zone to attract foreign investment in accordance with the Egyptian government's plans to develop the Suez Canal Corridor.
The project will feature a range of investment incentives and encourage innovation using the best international practices in the management of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), free zones, ports, and logistic hubs based on DP World’s global experience.
Bin Sulayem said the support of Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, and the role of the Egyptian government in removing barriers to investment, were key factors in ensuring the future success of the project.
He underlined DP World's commitment to supporting the Egyptian government's vision, as well as the UAE's leadership role in encouraging more investment in Egypt and in mutual development projects for the benefit of both nations, which will continue strengthen their relationship.
“The project will also help transform the Suez Canal into a major trade and business hub in the region, given its strategic location and role as an artery for global trade," Bin Sulayem said.
“We are looking forward to working with the SCZone through this joint venture to develop the project using our international expertise and know-how of trade and logistics across six continents, to add value to the Egyptian economy and leave a legacy for future generations,” he added.
Dubai Ports has been a key partner in a number of development projects in Egypt, and seeks to extend this role further.
The international group operates multiple related businesses from marine and inland terminals, maritime services, logistics and ancillary services to technology-driven trade solutions worldwide.
In August, El-Sisi agreed to the establishment of a joint development company between the General Authority for the Suez Canal Economic Zone and Dubai Ports to execute development projects in the Suez Canal area.
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 mega project is part of a government plan to upgrade energy infrastructure, boost the economy and create jobs.
The Suez Canal Economic Zone extends over 461 square kilometres across the three Suez Canal governorates of Suez, Port Said, and Ismailiya, and will include six maritime ports, to be completed by 2045.