Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr laid on Tuesday the foundation for a free zone expansion and the establishment of a branch of the Investors Services Centre in Ismailia, in the presence of Yasin Taher, the governor of Ismailia, Mona Zoba, executive chairperson of the General Authority for Investments and Free Zones (GAFI), and Ahmed Abdul Razek, assistant minister of investment.
Nasr inspected the administrative building of the free zone and agreed with the governor of Ismailia on an action plan to attract investments to the governorate in the near future, through the establishment of a new investment area, in the context of activating the new investment law.
Nasr listened to a presentation by El Sayed Salim, head of the Central Administration of Ismailia Public Free Zone, about the free zone, which has a total area of 677 acres divided into two phases, the first of which is 110.4 acres, with existing projects, and the second phase is on an area of 35 acres, which has been fully prepared for construction.
The region has 98 projects with a total capital of $683.5m. The total investments are $1.2bn and the total number of jobs provided by the free zone projects is 17,392. The most important activities are the manufacture of ready-made garments, leather, chemical processing, and re-export of goods out of the country.
Nasr laid the foundation of the investors services centre in Ismailia on 212 acres. She said that the branch of the Investors Services Centre in Ismailia will be equipped with all the necessary facilities to enable investors to complete establishment procedures as soon as possible.
The minister pointed out that this branch is among several centres that will be set up to facilitate investments. The centre will provide many services, in terms of establishing companies and modifying contracts, stressing that this comes within the framework of improving the business environment.
Nasr explained that this branch will serve 5,428 current companies and governorates near Ismailia, such as Port Said, Suez, and North Sinai.
The minister pointed out that there is a framework in the ministry’s plan to develop free zones and establish investment zones in all governorates in the coming years to accommodate new investments, especially that the GAFI has not established any free investment areas since 2012, which has resulted in them working to speed up the completion of these areas in the rest of the governorates in the coming phase.
The minister visited the factory of company Velocity, for ready-made apparel, which exports 100% of its products and provides 2,132 jobs.