The Egyptian economy: All eyes on industrialisation

Karima Abdel-Ghani, Tuesday 10 Aug 2021

Egypt is building industrial complexes countrywide to serve small and medium-sized enterprises, encourage investment, and localise production

All eyes on industrialisation
Gamea touring one of the industrial complexes

The government is establishing integrated industrial complexes nationwide in an effort to meet local demand for various industrial goods.

The complexes are not only meant as units serving specific industrial activities, but will also be the centres of an integrated system providing the environment and infrastructure necessary for a strong industrial sector.

Last week, the first phase of Silo Foods, a food industries complex built and operated by the Armed Forces-affiliated National Service Projects Organisation in Menoufiya governorate, was inaugurated and will provide 13 million Egyptian students with daily school meals.

The first phase of the complex covers 102 feddans of land out of a total planned area of 135 feddans and comprises 10 factories producing 40 food products, including flour, pasta, biscuits and chocolate, baked items, juice, and milk.

 From its side, the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s Industrial Development Authority (IDA) is establishing 17 industrial complexes in 15 governorates at a total cost of LE10 billion.

According to Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea, they will include 5,046 industrial units and provide 48,000 direct job opportunities.

They are equipped with administrative buildings, training centres, service and logistics facilities, and bank branches to link them to integrated production chains, she said, adding that the ministry had been working to facilitate procedures and remove any obstacles facing investors.

Four other complexes are now fully operational, Gamea said. The first is in Sadat city in Menoufiya and has 296 units, each ranging between 300 and 720 square metres in size. Some 277 units have been allocated for pharmaceutical, engineering, and food production.

The second is in Port Said and has 118 units, each ranging between 300 and 840 square metres in size. 117 units have been allocated to various activities, including chemicals, engineering, food, and spinning and weaving.

The third complex is in Badr City and is equipped with 87 units, each ranging between 680 and 1,360 square metres in size. The complex has been allocated for the food, engineering, and chemical industries. 

The fourth, called Morghan, is in Alexandria and has 238 units working on plastic production.

The ministry has planned seven complexes, with a total of 1,657 units in the governorates of Alexandria, the Red Sea, Gharbiya, Beni Sweif, Minya, Sohag and Luxor, Gamea said in October last year. Unit areas range from 48 to 792 square metres.

The complexes include industries such as plastics, food, engineering, chemicals, building materials, furniture and garments and are meant to localise new and technologically-advanced industries, she said.

Gamea travelled to Qena and Luxor this week to inspect the complexes dedicated to small and medium-sized industries in Howa, Qena, and Luxor’s Baghdadi area. The Howa complex has been completed, she said, and comprises 420 industrial units. It will soon be offered to investors with a view to beginning production.

The Baghdadi complex in Luxor has also been completed and will be dedicated to activities such as food, engineering, chemicals, ready-made garments, furniture, and building materials at a total cost of LE816 million.

The complex will provide 5,700 job opportunities and has 206 units.

Gamea said that opportunities in the complex were offered to investors in October 2020. Some units were allocated, and others are being allocated at present. 

Mohamed Al-Zallat, head of the IDA, said it was following up on the progress of the industrial complexes countrywide in order to produce an appropriate climate for investors and facilitate procedures, especially for small investors and entrepreneurs.

The IDA helps investors through the allocation process and licensing procedures and backs them in their operations, Al-Zallat said, adding that it also works with the relevant state authorities to support investment and localise production.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 12 August, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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