'Work, build and develop, what are you afraid of?': Egypt's Sisi reassures businessmen

Ahram Online , Saturday 28 Nov 2015

The president spoke about a sound climate for investment and the country's challenges in fighting terrorism at the launching of one of the first major projects to transform the Suez Canal area into an int'l industrial zone

Abdel Fattah El-Sisi
Snapshot fron State TV of Egypt President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi speaking on Saturday in the Suez Canal area.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has reassured investors and businessmen about the soundness of the investment climate in Egypt, saying doubts raised by some over the issue are unjustified.

"Work, build and develop...what are you afraid of? Everything is governed by law... the doubts are completely [unjustified]," El-Sisi said on Saturday in response to criticism by some foreign and local businessmen over what they claim is red-tape and a bloated civil service in the Arab world's most populous country.

El-Sisi made the comments during a speech at the inauguration ceremony of a project aimed at developing an industrial, seaport and logistical complex in the eastern part of the Suez Canal governorate of Port Said.

The Port Said project is set to be a starting point for the president's proposed mega project of transforming the Suez Canal area into an international trading and industrial zone. 

Egypt began the project in 2002, but little has been accomplished to date.

In August, Egypt completed work on a new branch of the Suez Canal with the aim of using the 35-Kilometre extension as a launching pad to attract investments in factories and logistics hubs in the canal area.

Egypt's cabinet approved in March a long-awaited draft law on investment aimed at making deals less vulnerable to legal challenges or changes in government, as well as curtailing bureaucratic hurdles.

El-Sisi said the giant East Port Said project, which includes the expansion of the area's harbour and the development of an industrial zone, will be completed in two years' time.

El-Sisi stressed that among the major challenges the country is facing, besides carrying out large development projects, is combating terrorism, and urged coordinated efforts to battle terrorism around the world.

"We have expressed our readiness to fight this anti-human and anti-religion phenomenon," he said, adding that "the world now understands the battle is not merely security-centred, but intellectual, social and religious as well."

Egypt has been fighting for several years against an Islamist insurgency in parts of the governorate of North Sinai, which has killed hundreds of police and army personnel since the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

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