Tractors work on Egypt's New Suez Canal project at the Suez Canal zone, Egypt, June 13, 2015 - REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih
CAIRO – 7 March 2018: The government approved Wednesday an agreement to establish a Russian industrial zone in the East Port Said region in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, Trade Minister Tarek Kabil said.
During a press conference at the cabinet, Kabil said that the agreement will go to State Council and Parliament for review, adding that initial investment in the project stands at $190 million for developing infrastructure. The whole project is worth $7 billion, Kabil said.
Egypt and Russia have been negotiating the Russian Industrial Zone (RIZ) project since February 2015.
RIZ would be established on an area of 5.25 million square meters and will be built over three phases. The first phase involves one million square meters, creating 7,300 jobs in the construction field.
The second phase will develop 1.6 million square meters and will be finished by 2022, creating 10,000 jobs, while the third phase will develop 2.65 million square meters and generate 17,000 jobs.
The three phases are expected to be finished by 2031, when Russian companies will start operations, providing some 35,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The Egyptian and Russian sides have agreed to establish a company under the name of Moscow Economic Zone to be responsible of the zone’s operations and construction works.
The two sides have further agreed that the Egyptian and Russian governments will supervise the project, which is funded by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and a number of Egyptian banks.
Total Russian investments in the Egyptian market are valued at about $62.8 million across 417 projects in various fields, according to the Trade Ministry.
The project is part of ongoing efforts to encourage foreign and domestic investments in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, which is set to include an international logistics hub and areas for light, medium and heavy industry, as well as commercial and residential developments.