CAIRO: The industrial zone that Russia is establishing in the Suez Canal Economic Zone is expected to attract $7 billion in new investments, said Moscow’s ambassador to Egypt.
Georgy Borisenko indicated interest from Russian companies to invest in the industrial zone, which according to Egyptian government data will cover an area of 5.25 sq. km and provide 35,000 direct and indirect job opportunities, 90 percent of which will be filled by Egyptians.
Implementation of the project will take 12 years with a 50-year usufruct agreement. Financing comes from the Russian Export Center and the Russian Central Bank.
The zone will enjoy special advantages regarding taxes and customs duties on exports and imports, labor costs and fees for passage from the Suez Canal, with the possibility of transferring all of the revenues and profits abroad without requiring an Egyptian partner.
Borisenko said trade between the two countries reached $6.2 billion in 2019, making Russia one of Egypt’s top 10 trade partners.
He added that the most important Russian exports to Egypt are wheat, minerals, oil, gas, cars, railroad cars, timber, fats and oils, while Egyptian exports to his country include agricultural products, food and chemicals.
Major Russian companies — including oil companies Rosneft and Lukoil, and automobile company Lada — operate in Egypt, Borisenko said.
There are many joint projects that constitute a strong incentive to support economic cooperation, he added.
Russia’s Transmashholding has started supplying Egypt’s railway sector with 1,300 railroad cars.
Borisenko said Russian companies are interested in increasing cooperation with Egyptian businessmen in the local market, which he described as very attractive for investment.
He said Russian direct investments in Egypt have increased in the past few years, and there is hope for increasing the volume of these investments, especially in the fields of oil and gas discovery, agriculture, food industries and mechanical engineering.