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Egypt launches new five-year investment plan - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A general view of the Nile River and the Cairo skyline is seen from the Cairo Tower in Cairo Tower in the Zamalek district Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)

A general view of the Nile River and the Cairo skyline is seen from the Cairo Tower in Cairo Tower in the Zamalek district Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Egyptian government announced the launch of the first integrated industrial map for industrial investment on Tuesday.

The government claims that the map will provide complete data of all lands utilized for industrial production, and identify areas rich with minerals and natural resources as well as proposed industrial zones for investment.

The Minister of Trade and Industry of Egypt, Mounir Fakhri Abdel Nour, said during a meeting with journalists on Tuesday that the new map is designed to encourage investment and to make the most of important investment opportunities.

He added that it facilitates new investments since it includes the data that usually takes up 50 per cent of the time required for making an investment decision to process. This includes information on regulations, laws, and procedures for both the state and investors in order to begin the implementation process as soon as possible.

Nour said that the new map will contribute to the creation of 3000 plants and 22 specialized industrial complexes for small and medium enterprises over a course of five years. It is expected to bring about investments of almost EGP 35 billion (approximately USD 5 billion) and provide about 1.5 million jobs.

The current rates of investment present a challenge to the Egyptian government. During the first 9 months of the last fiscal year, the rate of contribution of investments in growth rates was negative, at -0.7 percent.

This is blamed for the low growth rate during that period which reached about 2.3 per cent. Consumption rates still play the greatest role in the economy, with their contributions amounting to almost 22.85 percent.

The Egyptian government said it expects to boost government investment, particularly to about EGP 290 billion (USD 41.4 billion) during the current fiscal year. In addition to this, an approved stimulus package of almost EGP 22.3 billion (USD 3.18 billion) will be applied to several areas of investment, and will also include payments to contractors.

Abdel Nour identified a number of different sectors that will be included in the new map for the establishment of investments. These include food processing, building materials, mining, engineering, electronics, chemicals and petrochemicals, fertilizers, textiles and garments, and cultural and creative industries.

He also pointed out that the new map targets expanding projects aimed to increase the added value of industrial products and developing logistics associated with various industries. He also added that it will include the improvement of roads and ports and expansion in the field of renewable energy and industrial waste recycling.

Abdel Nour claimed that the map will act as a geographical, legislative, and procedural guide. It will clarify the places allocated for different kinds of projects and industrial investments to the domestic and foreign investors.

Nour also claimed that the map will aim to point out ideal locations for projects in order to shorten the time and reduce the cost of investments and to aid them with the care and supervision required in order to accelerate production, distribution, and diversification and take advantage of the existing benefits of each region.