Minister: Egypt targeting 9% industrial growth rate

Trade and Industry Ministry Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour has indicated important messages for Egyptians and the whole world through the economic summit, that he said will draw the plan of the country’s future.

The main message includes concluding the investment law, which represents legal start to resolve problems facing investors.

The law, according to the minister, includes incentives for projects that serve developmental projects through encouraging expansion in transfer of technology, carrying out projects in remote areas and Upper Egypt. The incentives also state that the government bears part of the social insurance of the workers for specific period as well as training services and allocation of lands.

The messages also confirm that partial liberalization of the exchange rate has positive impact on Egyptian economy as well as the industrial society and investors.

Regarding the government’s foreign actions, policies and ties with the US, the minister told Al-Masry Al-Youm that Egypt run foreign and economic policies in a balanced way, adding that Egypt is friends with everyone.

Egypt has begun high-level communications with China, he added, the outcome of which will be clear during the Chinese president’s visit to Egypt in mid-April.

Abdel Nour also added that China was the first trade partner to Egypt with trade volume that increased in 2014 to more than US$8.5 billion. China jumped to the first place after trade volume reached $11 billion. Egypt's trade balance with the US, however, is more stable than China’s.

Regarding issues raised over human rights lawsuits and detention of activists, the minister said Egypt is in difficult situation and seeks to restore stability and security, which should take place within law while preserving freedom of expression.

He also indicated that government always moves towards dialogues with youth to engage them in society.

He stressed that the summit will be the beginning and that we should not only focus on the contracts that would be signed during the summit, which targets placing Egypt on the international investments map and restoring confidence of local and foreign investors.

All the government members work under difficult circumstances for long hours to achieve goals and needs of the investors, he added.

He indicated fears in the beginning of preparing for the summit that number of participants would be low, however, more efforts and work yielded in the high rate of participation.

Number of projects proposed by ministries and other authorities are over 80 projects. They cannot be all reviewed within the summit, he added.

The ministry, according to Abdel Nour, offered one main project which is the Safaga industrial port. It was reviewed by a German consulting office to draw a detailed scheme. The office is the same one that carried out studies of the Port of Hamburg in Germany. The project targets turning Safaga seaport located on the Red Sea to be the first industrial port that includes three investment sectors including circulation and storage of grains, establishment of industrial zone to manufacture phosphate, phosphoric acids and phosphate fertilizers industry.

Regarding the Golden Triangle Project, the minister said it is one of the most important projects for Egypt that will cause a leap if carried out as required.

The ministry targets an industrial growth rate no less than 9 percent annually, he said, adding that this requires an increase in investments. 

Regarding the postponed parliamentary elections, Abdel Nour said it was the Supreme Constitutional Court’s verdict nullifying the law on electoral districts division stressing necessity to have a strong parliament through fair transparent elections.

The minister also added that the military handling of some contracted work raised concerns, however, it was based on misunderstanding for the situation in Egypt. He added that the military get some contracting works but it does not carry it out itself, but through other contractors. It proved to be of high efficiency in running private projects of national nature while being committed to deadlines. The best example for that is the digging of the Suez Canal.

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