Chairperson of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) Ahmed Darwish highlighted signing three trade agreements with 26 African countries and one agreement with an Arab country to start work in different activities in the SCZone.
During the “Builders of Egypt” forum, Darwish said that the area of SCZone amounts to 461sqkm, divided into four areas and sub-areas, along with six ports. He noted that the SCZone aims to become one of the seven most attractive areas in which to invest in the world by 2035.
He pointed out that the completion of the water desalination plant in east Port Said is expected in the first half of April.
With regard to the east Port Said area, Darwish said that the SCZone is seeking to establish a smart infrastructure to achieve high returns next to creating an integrated urban community. He added that the infrastructure includes 19 items, such as water, gas, surveillance, and tracking cameras, in addition to a controller room to provide various regulatory services to investors.
He noted that the SCZone is now in negotiations to establish a water desalination plant in Ain Sokhna.
Moreover, Darwish pointed out that China acquired some 7m sqm in Ain Sokhna .
He noted that the area is now seeing the establishment of huge projects in east Port Said and building 5,000 metres of berths at the port. Additionally, he said that the SCZone is also negotiating with Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, CMA, and an Emirati investor to build berths for vehicles, containers, and grains.
He said that the usual contract provides the land for 50 years with usufructuary rights, and ports for 30 years, both of which are applicable for renewal.
He explained that the board of directors of SCZone relies on several factors to grant land permits to investors, including the solvency of the companies and their previous experience in promoting and attracting investments, as well as the timetable they follow to implement their projects.
He pointed out that from a list of 60 companies registered with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority only three companies were chosen. They developed studies to determine the pricing plan of the land available for investment in the zone at prices between $1-3 per metre.
He stressed that receiving payment for land value in US dollars helps support SCZone’s foreign currency resources.