The second Al Mal-GTM Real Estate Debate Conference “Ambitious Strategy for Exporting Real Estate” has been held on October 29 and attended by a number of industry experts and speakers, who shared their thoughts and expertise on the know-hows of putting Egypt on the international real estate map.
The conference has been inaugurated by Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, as well as, Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Development Mostafa Madbouly.
During her speech, Minister Nasr has expressed her keenness to participate in the real estate conference discussing ways to benefit from the huge opportunities in this sector, given that “it is relevant global market is worth USD 250 bn” she states.
“Among key sectors supported by the newly-established Investment Law are the real estate and construction sectors since the ministry aims to foster an attractive investment climate for all sectors,” Nasr confirms.
She adds that there was already intense competition in the real estate sectors between Egypt among other countries and that each country is keen on providing investors with incentives.
The Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation, according to Nasr, has worked on enhancing the investment and business environment with the aim of attracting local and foreign investments and increasing the share of private investments in the country’s GDP. The minister also says that her ministry has been working on promoting all economic sectors to increase the flow of foreign investments to Egypt.
Moreover, Nasr explains that the ministry is responsible for the non-banking financial aspect of the real estate sector, which includes the mortgage finance, financial leasing, and factoring.
The minister also mentions that the construction sector has continuously witnessed increase in growth rates during the previous period, reaching the highest growth rate for all economic sectors in Egypt, which is 10.8% during the fiscal year 2016-17. The construction sectors and real estate activities accounted for 18.5% of the total investments implemented during the first nine months of the fiscal year 2016-17.
In addition, the minister announces that she agreed with Chairman of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) Dr. Mohamed Omran and Chairman of the Egyptian Stock Exchange Mohamed Farid to support the construction sector. EFSA, explains Nasr, “worked on developing legislations for issuing real estate funds in order to provide systematic instruments for real estate investment in Egypt similar to other countries in the Gulf, Europe or the United States.”
She reiterates the significance of the real estate funds’ support for the construction sector due to its significant role in development, noting that “the ministry is keen on securing funds to support social housing within the framework of supporting the most vulnerable social classes so as to contribute to improving living standards and achieving inclusive and sustainable growth.”
In response to journalists’ inquiries, Nasr confirms that there were requests from investors abroad to invest in major projects such as the New Administrative Capital, the New Al-Alamein City, and the Suez Canal Development Project. It is worth noting that Nasr, during her recent visit to Saudi Arabia and her participation in the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Conference, presented a number of investment opportunities in Egypt to prospective investors.
Meanwhile, Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Development Mostafa Madbouly says that the Ministry of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Development is seeking to create a new mechanism to export the selling of local properties abroad.
“The focus on exporting real estate is due to its positive returns, especially from foreign currency,” Madbouly notes.
“The new mechanism seeks to reach out to serious real estate developers, who are willing to participate in international real estate exhibitions in a number of countries abroad,” the official says, adding that ministries concerned also have to offer facilities for foreign investors to inject their money in the country.
Meanwhile, the conference’s sessions discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the real estate sector, steps the country should take to exports its real estate abroad, as well as, the difficulties facing real estate investment funds, which are still not fully implemented in Egypt.