Egypt to eliminate obstacles to investment within 1-2 months: Sisi inaugurating GAFI projects

Ahram Online , Tuesday 27 Sep 2022

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stressed the state's interest in eliminating impediments to industrial development, affirming that obstacles to investment will be removed within a month or two.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi
A still photo of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi speaking during inaugurating a number of national projects affiliated to the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) on Tuesday.


El-Sisi’s remarks came while he was inaugurating a number of national projects affiliated to the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) in a ceremony that was attended by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and a number of ministers and senior officials.

The president also highlighted the state's seriousness in addressing problems that impede investment, pointing out that each implemented project represents additional income not only for the company executing the project, but also for every citizen who works in it.

President El-Sisi emphasised the role of research and development centres, whether in universities or elsewhere, in order to find solutions to problems that need development.

“If coordination is established between research centres and industry, we will be able to solve the existing problems in Egypt, and the next period will witness an expansion in [constructing] factories and many projects for business and industry,” El-Sisi said.

Moreover, he expressed the government's readiness to encourage businessmen to expand the number of vocational schools to provide skilled and trained workers with real job opportunities.

Private sector

El-Sisi stated on Tuesday that the coming economic conference will be a great opportunity to present all the obstacles facing investors.

In early September, El-Sisi called on the government to organise an economic conference, initially planned for the end of the month, to discuss the latest developments and future of Egyptian economy. The conference, whose final date has not been announced, is expected to explore a set of visions and proposals for shoring up all sectors of the national economy and dealing with current challenges.

Madbouly and Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Hassan Abdallah met in mid-September to review a raft of economic files, chief among which was the themes and topics to be discussed at the conference.

“We will present the problems that exist and that meet the investor. It is not a defect in the government or the state that we will present. We will confront and solve it so that there are no problems that hinder investment," El-Sisi stated during Tuesday's event.

He added that the state "is targetting $100 billion in exports, and this figure is not great for a country the size of Egypt with 104 million people,” stressing that Egyptian labour wages are not high compared to other countries in the world.

Egypt’s exports increased by 20 percent in the first quarter (1Q) of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021, despite the global crises, according to Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea.

Egypt’s non-oil exports reached an all-time high of $32.1 billion in 2021, up from the $25.4 billion recorded in 2020 – an increase of 26 percent – according to figures released by the trade ministry.

Egypt has been working to grant the private sector a greater role in the country’s economic activities. In June, Egypt launched the State Ownership Policy Document that charts a roadmap for expanding the private sector’s role in a number of economic activities in the Egyptian market.

The policy sets a number of paths to expand the role of the private sector across the country, including through offering state-owned companies on the EGX whether through a private offering or under the IPO programme.

Egypt plans to raise the private sector’s share in the country’s economic activity to 65 percent over three years, up from the current 30 percent.

The president has in more than occasion has reiterated his call for the participation of the private sector in new projects with the public sector.

“The private sector is welcome to contribute in new projects and factories. I repeat [my invitation] for the fourth time,” he said in December 2021. 

In the same month, he again stressed the importance of the private sector's role in development projects, saying that some 4,475 private companies have participated in national development projects nationwide with investments ranging from EGP 1 billion to EGP 75 billion.

The state is implementing – in partnership with private sector – development projects worth EGP 1.1 trillion, El-Sisi said, adding that these projects have created jobs for more than three million families.

GAFI projects

During the ceremony, El-Sisi inaugurated via video conference two investment zones in Banha of Qalyubia governorate and Meit Ghamr of Gharbia Governorate.

A documentary film titled "Promising Track" was screened during the event, highlighting the national projects carried out by GAFI and the track of economic reform introduced by Egypt recently.

It also shed light on the importance of investment as a main engine for upping the economic growth rate through the implementation of Egypt’s Vision 2030, which opened the doors for local and foreign investments in Egypt and helped in the establishment of more free zones, logistics, industrial and technological areas.

The GAFI film also underlined the state's efforts to increase investment in the nine public free zones and 204 private free zones in a number of governorates.

Such free zones have contributed to the launch of 1,095 projects and provided around 200,000 direct job opportunities.

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