Egypt Approves Plan for $7bn Russian Industrial Zone

The Egyptian government approved on Wednesday an agreement to establish a Russian industrial zone in East Port Said with $7 billion in investments, according to Egypt Today.

Negotiations over the project began in 2014. The industrial zone is set to be built on a 5.25 million-square-meter plot of land over three phases and is expected to generate 35,000 jobs, according to officials.

Last October, Suez Canal Authority chairman Mohab Mamish issued a statement saying successful negotiations over the zone were held in the presence of Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of Russia Georgy Kalamanov in Egypt.

Mamish said work on the zone would start in 2018 and that Russia would act as an industrial developer to attract companies and global investors for two years.

Egypt is working on promoting the Suez Canal Economic Zone to attract international investors and boost job creation and economic growth.

The three phases of the building of the Port Said industrial zone are expected to be finished by 2031 when Russian companies will start operations, the government said.

The Egyptian and Russian sides have agreed to establish a company under the name of Moscow Economic Zone to be responsible for the zone’s operations and construction works.

The two sides have further agreed that the Egyptian and Russian governments will supervise the project, which is funded by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and a number of Egyptian banks.

Total Russian investments in the Egyptian market are valued at about $62.8 million across 417 projects in various fields, according to the Trade Ministry.

The project is part of ongoing efforts to encourage foreign and domestic investments in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, which is set to include an international logistics hub and areas for light, medium and heavy industry, as well as commercial and residential developments.