Egypt’s industrial growth has increased from 1.8% last year to 17% this year, according to Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour.
Abdel Nour noted that EGP 76.5bn has been pumped into the industrial sector in the past 10 months, creating 136,000 job opportunities.
In an interview with state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram published Wednesday, Abdel Nour said the EGP 76.5bn includes over 2,300 new projects. A total of EGP 27.9bn has been made, alongside other expansions in 700 already-established projects with EGP 48.6bn in investments.
During the interview, Abdel Nour said his ministry is giving attention to the small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector, with the government-sponsored Social Development Fund (SFD) taking over the financing role.
The government has taken measures to facilitate the SFD’s loaning system to SMEs and decreasing the documents needed to launch a project, Abdel Nour added.
The SFD plans to increase the volume of fund for projects in 2015 to EGP 4.62bn, to fund 23,000 small projects, while the number of micro small projects that are expected to be financed by the end of this year is 120,000 projects.
Tackling the importance of the foreign visits of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to the economy, Abdel Nour said that delegations from different foreign countries come to Egypt after each presidential visit, where they submit investment proposals “as they believe there are changes in the economic situation and they see investment opportunities in all sectors”.
Last week, Abdel Nour has adopted a new work plan for the Industrial Modernisation Centre (IMC), based on “various and developed” technical programmes and services. The plan is aimed at developing the industrial sector and SMEs and increasing their competitiveness.
The plan includes a target of using new and renewable energy resources and clean energy principles in industry. This includes converting Borg Al-Arab, an industrial zone near Alexandria, into an environmentally friendly city through reducing industrial emissions.
The IMC will provide over 5,600 services for more than 2,000 companies during the new fiscal year, according to Abdel Nour. He added the centre will also focus on expanding its services in Upper Egypt and providing industrial establishments there with services and support.