Neither Egyptian nor foreign investors will be allowed to own land along the Suez Canal, according to the terms of planned development projects along Egypt's strategic waterway, Housing Minister Tareq Wafik said on Monday.
Speaking at the first conference devoted to Egypt's Suez Canal Corridor (SCC) initiative, Wafik explained that investors would be permitted to build projects in partnership with the government – and profit from them – on a usufruct basis, i.e., for a fixed period of up to 25 years.
The government body tasked with managing SCC projects will provide regular progress reports to Egypt's yet-to-be-elected lower house of parliament, Wafik explained. SCC projects, he added, would also be monitored by Egypt's Central Auditing Authority.
The SCC, which will be operated through public-private partnerships, aims to develop Egypt's three canal governorates – Suez, Ismailia and Port Said – by 2017. The initiative will feature a number of large-scale projects, including a 'Technology Valley' in Ismailia – which will host several technology projects – along with a new tunnel linking the Suez Canal's west bank to the central Sinai Peninsula.
The initiative also includes plans to create a major Mediterranean seaport in East Port Said and an industrial zone west of the Gulf of Suez.
According to the Egyptian cabinet's official Facebook page, the SCC initiative is expected to attract investment to Egypt worth some $100 billion and generate roughly one million employment opportunities for local residents.