Egyptian free zones, operating with roughly 1,090 projects, logged exports worth USD 10.1 bn (EGP 167.4 bn) during the first six months of 2019, coming with a capital of USD 12.1 bn (EGP 200.4 bn) and foreign direct investments (FDIs) of USD 2.1 bn (EGP 34.8 bn), Invest-Gate reports.

This has contributed to the provision of 192,000 job opportunities, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation said during a meeting held in the presence of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, according to an official statement on August 23. She pointed out that the ministry has completed the development works of Nasr City Public Free Zone and is currently working on the implementation of other domestic areas, notably in Alexandria and Port Said.

Last year, the free zones achieved USD 17.3 bn (EGP 286.5 bn) in export-related activities, while service exports made an unprecedented leap of USD 7.6 bn (EGP 125.8 bn) in 2018, up from USD USD 6.4 bn (EGP 106.1 bn) and USD 4.9 bn (EGP 81.3 bn) in 2017 and 2016, respectively, Nasr confirmed.

“Seven new free zones are underway in Minya, South Sinai, New Ismailia, Giza, Dakahlia, Aswan, and Kafr El Sheikh,” the minister stated, noting that these hubs will include more than 1,000 projects, contributing to the creation of around 120,000 jobs.

She explained that Egypt has 13 investment zones under construction, extending over seven governorates and including 2,828 projects, which are expected to create 500,000 new job opportunities and attract nearly EGP 78 bn worth of investments.

During the meeting, preparations for Africa 2019 Conference have been discussed, which is set to take place in the New Administrative Capital (NAC) on November 22-23, under the auspices of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi. This year’s edition will focus on empowering African women and young entrepreneurs, while considering renewable energy and information technology, in a bid to foster larger inflows into such fields nationwide and stimulate further investments in the African continent.

On August 8, the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) approved tendering 107 new metallurgy projects in Mit Ghamr Investment Zone, Dakahlia Governorate, providing nearly 2,000 new job opportunities, the investment ministry announced back then.