President El-Sisi witnesses the inauguration of GAFI projects
Tuesday، 27 September 2022 - 12:10 PM
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi arrived, on Tuesday 27-9-2022, at the premises of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) to open a number of national projects in Cairo's Nasr City.
Upon his arrival, the president was received by Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli and a number of top-notch statesmen.
President El Sisi inspected a number of national projects affiliated to the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI).
During the inspection tour, the president was accompanied by Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli, as well as a number of ministers and senior officials.
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi watched a documentary film entitled "Promising Track" during his inauguration of a number of national projects affiliated to the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI).
The film highlighted the national projects carried out by GAFI and the track of economic reform introduced by Egypt during the past period.
It also shed light on the importance of investment as a main engine for upping the economic growth rate through the implementation of Egypt vision for 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.
GAFI film also underlined the State's efforts to achieve a leap in all investment domains inside the 9 public free zones and 204 private free zones in a number of governorates, highlighting that such free zones have contributed to the launch of 1,095 projects and provided around 200,000 direct job opportunities.
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi inaugurated on Tuesday via video conference two investment zones in Banha of Qalyubia governorate and Meit Ghamr of Gharbia Governorate.
CEO of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) Mohamed Abdel Wahab said, in his speech, Egypt has, over the past three years, established seven new centers to serve investors with the aim to improve business practice.
He added that these new centers were established in the cities of Fayyoum, Minya, Qena, the New Valley, Ismailia, Port Said and South Sinai.
He noted that an eighth center should open in the city of Qalyoubiya by the end of this year, Abdel Wahab said during a ceremony attended by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to inaugurate a number of GAFI projects. This will bring the total number of investor service centers in Egypt to 15.
Abdel Wahab reviewed a GAFI plan of action to expand services across the country, especially Upper Egypt, as part of efforts to decentralize procedures through the electronic linkage of those centers.
He touched upon preferential incentives offered under the plan to national and strategic projects in Upper Egypt and border governorates, as well as green economy and artificial intelligence ventures.
Abdel Wahab also said foreign investors will be granted five-year residence in Egypt to implement their projects, noting that it could be renewed throughout the implementation process.
Abdel Wahab said GAFI is also working on a new strategy to promote foreign investment, focusing on promising economic sectors of competitive advantage and added-value in Egypt.
He highlighted that in cooperation with the private sector, missions have been organized to Arab and European countries in a bid to encourage businesspeople and companies to restart investment in Egypt.
He added that a third edition of Egypt’s investment map has already been issued, highlighting more than 1,130 business opportunities and 92 feasibility studies.
He explained that the result was an increase in the net flow of foreign direct investments (FDI) that exceeded 53 percent and reached about 7.3 billion dollars between July 2021 and March 2022, compared with 4.8 billion dollars during the same period the year before. This is mainly attributed to the rise in FDI in the oil sector during the relevant period to reach almost dlrs 9 billion.
Abdel Wahab said GAFI has organized more than 650 training programs and workshops for startup companies from 2020 until now, seeking to support youth and entrepreneurs.
He added that a GAFI training academy has also been established with the aim to hone skills of investment managers at government offices.
Abdel Wahab put the value of merchandise exports from free zones during this fiscal year at six billion dollars, while service exports amounted to five billion dollars, noting that 1,269 housing projects, 10 investment zones are already operating in Egypt.
Abdel Wahab said: “Today two new investment zones are being inaugurated: one in Banha and another in Mit Ghamr.”
He explained that the investment zone in Banha is established over 46 feddans and is designed for food and agricultural industries and their complementary activities, while the investment zone in Mit Ghamr is established over 18 feddans and is set for metal and engineering industries.
Abdel Wahab noted that GAFI is working to establish more investment zones to help achieve integrated development in all fields.
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi delivered a speech at the inauguration of a number of national projects affiliated to the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI).
President El-Sisi stressed that the State is serious in addressing the problems which hinder investment, asserting that the industrial sector tops the government's priorities.
President El-Sisi, meanwhile, affirmed that efforts are underway to facilitate and streamline investment procedures, asserting that all barriers facing investors will be removed within one month or two from now.
The President said that every project that is carried out represents an additional revenues to the company which implemented it along with the citizen as well, adding that the government stands fully ready to encourage businessmen to expand in setting up technical schools in order to have qualified labor with skills deemed relevant to the job market.
President El-Sisi also pointed out to the role of the research centers in resolving problems related to industry, noting that the private sector's contributions to the economic activity stand at 75%.
He made it clear the State is also keen on providing production supplies, asserting that he directed the governor of Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to resolve any problem facing the investors.
President El-Sisi highlighted that Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukrainian crisis had an adverse impact on the whole world, including Egypt, affirming: "But we are seeking to reduce the impact of this shock as much as possible."
President Sisi also saluted the GAFI and businessmen for their great efforts, saying "We are keen on supporting the industrial sector”, stressing that more work is need to be done from the various sides.
President Sisi said "we attach great importance to support industry in Egypt and remove all hurdles facing it."
He also underlined that two models were presented today on investment facilitation measures in Egypt through granting the "golden license".
The president elaborated that the license helps facilitate procedures to carry out investment projects in the country instead of obtaining 26 approvals that took a long time by the investors to reach the real practical procedure, after which they launch their projects.
He added that the investors demanded applying the "one-stop shop" system, which is one authority in a location that offers a multitude of services to clients, saving them considerable time, not exceeding 20 days or less if possible.
The president noted this service has already been implemented in some areas to help investors and industrialists, who seek to start their own business without wasting too much time in the course of finalizing administrative procedures.
The president further said: "The two models are good, but not enough if we are targeting to achieve 100 billion dollars of exports, which is not a high figure for a country with a population estimated at 104 million people."
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi affirmed that the State is cooperating with the businessmen in Egypt and is exerting assiduous efforts to remove all obstacles facing them.
In this regard, President Sisi said that the economic conference, which will kick off next month, represents a perfect opportunity for investors and businessmen to shed light on the obstacles facing them.
President Sisi said the wages of Egyptian labor is relatively low if compared to other countries, adding that this represents a comparative advantage for investors.
President El-Sisi asserted the State's readiness to cooperate in training highly-skilled workers.
El-Sisi stressed the importance of linking existing research and development centers in Egypt with businessmen and industrialists to benefit from their experience in finding solutions to problems or points that need development.
Sisi made it clear that the private sector's contribution to the Egyptian economy is not less than 75 percent.
He further stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian crisis had a shocking impact on the entire world and on Egypt, adding that the Egyptian government is trying to mitigate the impact of these shocks.
President El-Sisi further pledged that within two months, many obstacles will be removed.