Egypt's trade, int'l cooperation ministers address SMEs at Al-Ahram conference

Ahram Online , Tuesday 24 Jan 2017

Trade minister Tarek Kabil said that SMEs and micro-projects represent 75 percent of the national economy, whether in formal or informal businesses

Egypt's Al-Shabab Magazine, which operates under Al-Ahram organisation, held on Monday a conference on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) under the sponsorship of the trade and industry ministry, with a number of cabinet ministers in attendance to speak on the matter. 

Trade Minister Tarek Kabil said that SMEs and micro-projects represent 75 percent of Egypt's national economy, whether in formal or informal businesses, Al-Shabab reported.

Kabil noted the massive increase in land devoted to industrial development, from 2.6 million square meters in 2015 to 13.6 million square meters in 2016. Industrial zones have grown especially in the cities of Badr, Sadat and Port Said.

The minister said that getting an industrial licence represents the major obstacle to SMEs and micro-enterprises. He said that an inter-ministerial committee is currently drafting legislation that would decrease the time it takes to acquire a permit from two years to two weeks.

International cooperation minister Sahar Nasr said SMEs are considered a major force in the economy for job creation, especially in needy areas.  

Nasr added that 50 percent of SME aid is given to women, in light of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s declaration that 2017 would be the year of women.

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