The Egyptian General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (FATF) approved 13 new free zone projects with a capital of 167 million dollars between January and April 2021, according to the CEO of the authority, Mohamed Abdel Wahab.
The data came as Abdel Wahab was meeting with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on Monday evening to review a number of important cases the authorities are working on.
During the meeting, the FATF official reviewed the approvals and extensions that have taken place in the free zone projects during the period from January to April 2021. He added that the 13 new projects will see investment costs amounting to $ 748 million.
A total of 18 capital expansion projects were implemented during the period for $ 131 million, while 76 projects were expanded with capital costs of $ 1.3 billion. This was in addition to the increase in the number of workers in 56 projects, with 3,893 new employees added across all projects.
Abdel Wahab said that the number of businesses created during this period stood at around 9,434 businesses during the period January to April 2021. This compared to around 6,778 businesses during the same period in 2020, which reflects an increase of approximately 39.2%.
The issued capital of the companies that have been created amounted to around EGP 31.3 billion during the period January to April 2021, compared to around EGP 22.7 billion, an increase of around EGP 38. %.
He said that despite the negative impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the movement of global investment, Egypt has attracted more foreign direct investment (FDI) in various sectors.
Egypt’s contribution to issued capital during the period January to April 2021 amounted to EGP 24.9 billion, compared to EGP 19.2 billion during the same period of 2020.
During the meeting, the FATF official reviewed the arrangements made by the authority to organize the first session of the African Investment Promotion Authority Officials Forum from 11 to 14 June 2021 in Sharm el-Sheikh.
He explained that the forum is expected to include seven important sessions to discuss issues related to strengthening cooperation in business, both for government and the private sector. This is in addition to joint business meetings between Egyptian and African businessmen.
In another context, Abdel-Wahab explained that there are currently nine public free zones that have started their activities, in addition to 205 private free zone projects. The occupancy rate of these spaces allocated to receive projects in public free zones is 85%.
He added that the number of projects operating in the free zone system stood at 1,088, while the volume of capital invested in the free zone projects reached $ 13.4 billion.
The volume of Arab and foreign capital inflows recorded $ 2.4 billion, while the total investment costs for free zone projects amounted to $ 28.4 billion. Free zone projects create 191,000 jobs.
He pointed out that the business volume of the free zone during the period from January to April 2021 amounted to $ 4.8 billion. This included $ 2.4 billion in merchandise exports for free zone projects and $ 2.4 billion in service exports, representing the volume of activity for service projects.
He added that the trade surplus of free zone transactions with the outside world amounted to $ 465 million.