Key statements by President Sisi in Damietta projects inauguration
Damietta Furniture City
“Egypt has 100 million inhabitants and the population is growing. The demand on housing and hospitality is increasing...The first phase of new cities encompassing 14 cities will be accomplished by the end of next year. There is room to work [in the furniture sector]...The furniture city will revamp the beautiful products we have here [in Damietta] to be more well done and more appealing... I dream that the city gets the status it deserves and that it becomes a destination for people to buy furniture,” President Sisi said.
“When the furniture city was built, I dreamt of entering the global market not the local market...Does Egypt have importers of furniture? The answer is yes. That means we have not met all tastes and levels in the country. I dream of the international market for our furniture. You, Damietta people, don’t have a dream? I address all Egyptians. Did you stop dreaming or what? Did you stop running down your dreams? What you are witnessing now is a dream I had many years ago. Clearing away slums was my dream when I was young 40 years ago. It wasn’t acceptable to me to have people living on the streets. When I came to this place, I ran after my dream and God helped me,” the president said.
“We had that idea of establishing a center specialized in developing the furniture industry in order to meet the local and international demands...I imagined that people will request a larger number of workshops...Some would suggest that the market is experiencing a slowdown and suffers from problems. Problems will never go away. It’s our role to face such problems and obstacles through legislations and measures in order to protect and develop the industry,” the president said.
President Sisi urged Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA) to provide assistance to those who want to work in the complex. The president also demanded that the furniture granted in the residential units delivered to former slum dwellers get purchased from Damietta Furniture City. The president directed the Armed Forces Engineering Authority to supervise the new constructions in Damietta Furniture City to ensure that the design endorsed would not be altered.
Chairman of Damietta Furniture City Co. Osama Saleh stated that Egypt’s furniture exports hit $360 million and are expected to record LE2 billion when the city operates fully creating 100,000 direct and indirect jobs. Saleh declared that the company’s capital is LE5 billion while its paid-up capital is LE360. The company has set a target to increase paid-up capital to LE1.3 billion by the end of this year. The cost of Damietta Furniture City construction has reached LE3.1 billion.
CAIRO - 3 December 2019: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi inaugurated on Tuesday a number of projects in Damietta, including the Furniture Industrial City, a multi-purpose zone in Damietta Port, a number of residential units, an education center, and the first five star hotel in Delta.
The Industrial Sector
President Sisi affirmed that the Egyptian state is serious about modernizing and supporting the industrial sector in the country through offering industrial lands having all utilities needed, and licensed factories. The president added that although such initiatives has cost the state billions, job creation and pushing the industry forward remains a priority.
“The state is providing licensed industrial establishments that enjoy utilities and industrial safety systems as well as exhibition spaces and large factories...There are many people who want lands [immediately] and I do not support this. I work in an organized and planned way. If a city has a surface area of 300 feddans, I will build it by the book. If we start by distributing lands now, everyone will design it as they want,” the president said.
Chairman of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority Ihab al-Far pointed out that 13 new industrial zones will be delivered mid-2020. al-Far presented 45 projects worth LE92 billion executed to support the industrial sector. Those are eight industrial cities, 16 complexes for SMEs, 16 factories, an investment zone, and five infrastructure projects that will serve the industrial zones.
Twenty-two projects have been accomplished. Those include a fast-fashion factory in Qalyoubeya, three complexes for SMEs in Port Said, and two complexes in Badr City and Sadat City housing a total of 498 factories. Twenty-three projects are underway. The most important of which are three investment zones in Benha and Meit Ghamr encompassing a total of 472 industrial units.
The president stated the quantity of electricity produced by Egypt over the past five years is equal to that produced over 60 years with an increase of 28,000 MW. The president revealed that the state has spent LE615 billion on the improvement of electricity services.
Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker stated that the complaints agency affiliated to the ministry received 7.4 million complaints between September 21, 2016 and November 17. Currently, 2219 complaints are being examined.
Shaker stated that the national grid has been upgraded so that its quality has hit 99.7 percent. Shaker said that LE22 billion were allocated to the improvement of electricity distribution network. He added that 48 power plants were accomplished over the past few years.
Shaker underlined that Egypt ranks 77th in the Access to Electricity Index pointing out that LE22 billion were invested in the sector, and that the ministry has not have to relieve the grid from peak hour overloads since 2015. Over the same period, 28,000 MW have been added to the grid. “That figure is unprecedented,” Shaker stressed.
Shaker stated that when all planned power plants enter service, the cost of fuel saved will be LE16 billion. He revealed denying a Chinese offer to supply 10 million meters because local companies that produce such meters is high-quality. The minister also revealed that a central control unit will be established in the New Administrative Capital connecting all power plants across the country.
“The state has been working on resolving the issue of random constructions. The state works on resolving the problems of electricity, wastewater, water, and gas. Hence, the state and the citizens have to respect integrated planning,” the president said.
The president warned of random building as that is costing the state LE3 billion to substitute overhead power lines in areas encroached upon by citizens. “You don’t know what you are doing to your kids and the country,” the president asserted. Minister shaker that until present LE1.7 billion were dedicated to switching from overhead power lines to cables in such areas.
“The state is approaching matters that have not been dealt with for 100 years such as developing Manzala lake, which will be over by 2021.” the president said adding that lakes across the country will be rehabilitated in accordance with international standards.
“Old movies used to be shot in lakes,” the president said lamenting that some individuals caused damage to those lakes and went unpunishable, and affirming that the size of achievements taking place in Egypt cannot be imagined.
Minister of Youth and Sport Ashraf Sobhy declared that the number of beneficiaries from the ministry’s projects is 1.2 million and that the cost of investments pumped into the sector in Damietta has recorded LE367 million. The president highlighted that electronic linkage has been introduced in Damietta since May 2019.
Indicating the progress of construction works in Misr al-Guadida, chairman of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority clarified that four bridges will be finished within 15 days. One more will be accomplished on December 30. “We re-routed 7.7 kilometers of water supply pipes, and the neighborhood will experience traffic fluidity. Within 15 days, the second phase of development works in Misr al-Guadida will kick off. Construction of Suez Road is underway and will finish in February. The road will include nine lanes,” al-Far clarified.
Awareness on State Safeguarding
The president reiterated the role of the media in building awareness in respect to the preservation of a pivotal state like Egypt. Sisi also urged officials to hand over the country to future generations in the best shape possible.
“When we talk we talk because of the challenge. There is no challenge that constitutes a danger to Egypt unless it comes from within the country. I hope you contemplate the region around you. When people move, they become able to destroy their countries. There is nothing here. But, would I wait until there something? I will keep repeating [my warnings] until you gain immunity against destroying your country. I will keep repeating myself so I would be fulfilling my duty before God by educating them on the danger of any move,” the president said addressing citizens and media people.
“The state is deploying a huge effort to resolve problems and persuade you [they are being resolved]. People question why I am in a hurry and why I keep repeating the same words. I hope that all officials repeat the same words so that youths who were 10 years old in 2011 and neither saw nor know [what has happened]. Awareness is not confined to people who lived specific events. It extends to the university, mosque, and church. With our stability, we can do much,” Sisi said.
“If you wonder if there is something [wrong], the answer is no. Everything is alright. We need to have a vision for now, tomorrow, and the years to come. The more we have stability, the more we move forward and never turn back. Everything is known and has investments and money allocated to it. If we add Dabaa [nuclear power] plant, we are talking about LE1 trillion [worth of investments in the electricity sector]. We are doing more than great by the virtue of your effort and patience. We are talking about an economic status that was catastrophic in 2016 but now has improved and will get better,” the president stated.