Counselor Mohamed Abdel-Wahab, CEO of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones
The total of investments in Egypt’s free zones recorded $13.4 billion during the first four months of 2021 (from January through till April) over nine public free zones and 205 private ones, with an occupancy rate of 85 percent, according to the Head of the General Authority of Free Zones and Investment (GAFI) Mohamed Abdel-Wahab.
Abdel-Wahab made his comments during a meeting that was held on Monday with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, to review the performance of the free zones, including its investments and projects.
He noted that $2.4 billion of total investments are Arab and foreign capitals, adding that the gross investment costs of the new established projects in free zones post $28.4 billion.
Abdel-Wahab added that free zones provide 191,000 job opportunities.
During the meeting, Abdel-Wahab clarified that the economic activity in the free zones recorded $4.8 billion from January through to April, including $2.4 billion as commodity exports for the projects inside these zones and $2.4 billion as service exports.
He added that the trade balance of the free zones witnessed a surplus of $465 million during the period, with a $315 million of capital asset imports.
In four months, 13 projects were approved with a total capital of $167 million and $748 million in investment costs, as according to Abdel-Wahab.
He also expounded that 18 current projects expanded their capitals during the same period with a total of $131 million, while 76 projects increased their investment costs at a value of $1.3 billion.
Meanwhile, 56 projects in the free zones rose their labour force through recruiting 3893 new workers, said Abdel-Wahab.
Despite the severe impacts of the ongoing pandemic crisis, the new corporates that were established from January to April increased by 39.2 percent to reach 9434, up from the 6778 companies established during the same period in 2020, with a total issued share capital of EGP 31.3 billion, as according to GAFI’s head.
Also according to Abdel-Wahab, Egyptians' shares in the issued capitals of the new established corporates posted EGP 24.9 billion, while the foreign investors share recorded EGP 3.5 billion during the first four months of 2021.