18 March 2017 The Suez Canal Zone is negotiating on various fronts to attract further investment
The Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) is preparing to receive new investments. Ahmed Darwish, chairman of the SCZone, announced this week that contracts had been signed for the establishment of a Pharmaceutical and Car City in the zone.
The Pharmaceutical City will be the biggest in Africa and the Middle East, Darwish said at a press conference at SCZone headquarters in Ain Al-Sokhna. It is to be built on four million square metres of land in partnership with a Spanish industrial developer and European funding.
A Russian industrial city will also set up shop in the SCZone. “The final phase of the negotiations with the Russian partner has been reached, but the company that will run the Russian industrial area has not been determined,” Darwish said.
He mentioned some of the other infrastructure developments that are taking place in Ain Al-Sokhna and East Port Said, saying that they would lead to more investment in the zone that he described as “the diamond of the Mediterranean Sea”.
Darwish made his remarks at a press conference held after a visit to the SCZone Development Company (Egypt TEDA) located in the North-West Special Economic Zone of the Gulf of Suez adjacent to the Suez Canal.
According to Ahmed Abo Elhamd, the company’s investment supervisor, there are 32 productive enterprises in the zone worth $900 million in investment. More than 2,000 job opportunities have been provided, and there are 30 support service agencies to provide banking, insurance, shipping, customs clearance, advertising and other services for the enterprises settled in the zone.
A 6km extension to the zone includes promising investment opportunities in IT products, machine equipment, light industry, electrical appliances and the automobile and chemical industries, Abo Elhamd said.
The zone already houses Jushi Egypt, a $520 million investment that is the biggest industrial base for fibreglass in Africa with an output of 200,000 tons. “Products from the facility are mainly distributed in European markets, as well as in Turkey, the Middle East, North Africa and the local market in Egypt,” said Karim Al-Kholi, deputy manager of the company, who added that the third phase of the project planned to bring production up to 40,000 tons in 2017.
The SCZone was declared a “special economic zone” in August 2015 under Law 83/2002 on economic zones of special nature.
© Al Ahram Weekly 2017