The Egyptian government has signed an agreement with German electronics company Siemens to improve industrial competitiveness and establish “smart” economic zones. The purpose of the deal is to establish specialised industrial zones based on regional resources in each Egyptian province, harmonise industrial areas with local job markets and use the best technological methods for problem-solving to minimise human intervention.
The agreement is based on developing the infrastructure, automation and digitisation of industrial zones; providing support to factories to optimise energy efficiency and adopting automated solutions; developing local machinery manufacturers; building capacity and improving technical and vocational education; and providing financial services to the industrial sector. There are more than 121 industrial zones in Egypt, each with their own unique issues, which are considered obstacles hampering the general investment climate.
To maintain investment, Cairo needs to address these issues since neighbouring countries have outdone Egypt in establishing smart industrial zones.
“The situation of Egyptian industry has become complicated because of the deterioration of services in industrial zones, which runs counter to investment trends in infrastructure,” said Hisham Kamal, chairman of the Industrial Organisation of New Cairo.
“If the Ministry of Industry wants to develop industrial zones, it should ensure that all parties that deal with investors are computerised and digitised.”
Cairo recently completed a project that added 3,400km to the road network, linking various industrial and commercial cities in the country.