Prime Minister (PM), Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, held a meeting to follow up on the efforts to facilitate and stimulate investment in industrial zones nationwide, today. The meeting took place in the presence of Dr. Assem El-Gazzar, Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities; Major General Hisham Amna, Minister of Local Development; Engineer Ahmed Samir, Minister of Trade and Industry; Mr. Hossam Heiba, CEO of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI); Eng. Mohamed Abdel Karim, Chairman of the Industrial Development Authority (IDA); Dr. Walid Abbas, Assistant Minister of Housing for New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) Affairs; and Mr. Mohamed Al-Sayed, Assistant Minister of Local Development for Planning.
At the beginning of the meeting, PM stressed the importance of continuing the efforts exerted to facilitate and stimulate investment, especially in industrial zones, in light of the State’s great interest in this sector, and in implementation of the directives of the political leadership to take all necessary measures to boost investment in various industrial projects, with the aim of providing sustainable job opportunities for the people in governorates.
Dr. Madbouly indicated that there are proposals and applications received from a number of investors to increase the building percentage and heights and to expand industrial developer lands. He directed the assessment of these applications.
On his part, IDA Chairman explained that there is a standing committee in IDA that assesses, in coordination with the entities concerned, any applications of that sort or otherwise similar applications.
In this regard, PM assigned IDA Chairman to promptly announce all building rules and requirements, and information relevant to the applications for heights and so forth in industrial zones on IDA website and through various media outlets.
The Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities presented the efforts made by NUCA to expand the offering of industrial developer lands and overcome investment obstacles in industrial zones. He explained that NUCA’s Board of Directors approved the allocation of a surface area of about 13 million m2 in New 6th of October, Alamein, New Fayoum, and New Aswan cities in 2023. The allocation of about 22 million m2 in the 6th of October, Sadat, 10th of Ramadan, and Alamein cities was also approved in 2007, so that the total land allocated under the industrial developer framework is about 35 million m2 in the new cities.
The Minister confirmed that all the applications submitted to increase the height restrictions are being assessed in accordance with the requirements allowed in this regard in the strategic plan. He indicated that in the event of applying for heights increase for industry needs, the approval will be provided and coordination will be made with the relevant entities in this respect.
Dr. Al-Gazzar stated that NUCA’s Board of Directors had previously approved in 2023 an exemption of 50% of the value of the allowances required to increase the height restrictions over what is permitted in the industrial lands in the 10th of Ramadan and Sadat cities, with a total of 30 meters. He added that granting some facilitations and making amendments, regarding industrial lands, have also been approved; the industrial developer has been allowed to plan and divide industrial land plots up to 75% of the project’s total surface area, provided that the percentage of roads, spaces and green areas is not less than 25% of the project total surface area.
During the meeting, Minister of Local Development presented the most prominent efforts to overcome obstacles of investment in Industrial Zones, where he discussed the results of reviewing the data of official Industrial Zones under the jurisdiction of the various authorities, explaining that the number of approved Industrial and Investment Zones reached 146 zones. He discussed in detail the data of the zones under the jurisdiction of each governorate, NUCA, IDA, GAFI, Suez Canal Authority (SCA), and National Construction Development (NCD).
The Minister added that, with regard to preparing plans for Industrial Zones under the jurisdiction of the governorates, working groups have been formed and the official Industrial Zones under the jurisdiction of the governorates, for which establishment decisions have been issued, have been counted, as their number has reached 74 zones. Moreover, the preparation of strategic and detailed plans for 20 zones has been completed, and review and approval are being conducted by the General Organization for Physical Planning “GOPP” and IDA.
Major General Hisham Amna indicated that the randomly-built Industrial Zones were counted, and their total number reached 177 zones, including 35.4 thousand industrial establishments. He added that the reconciliation applications submitted by citizens regarding industrial establishments in Industrial Zones under the jurisdiction of the governorates were also counted, as the number of applications submitted for reconciliation reached 1,447 in 27 governorates. In addition, coordination was made with the governorates to finalize the reconciliation procedures for industrial lands in Industrial Zones in the governorates in light of the applications that were received and accepted, immediately after the reconciliation conditions are met, in order to streamline procedures for investors, provided that the rest of the procedures, such as building and operating licenses and the industrial registry, are completed through IDA. He pointed out that the law on reconciliation of building violations is currently being amended and it includes Industrial Zones.
The Minister also reviewed the steps taken to issue environmental approvals for industrial projects, noting that, in coordination between IDA and the Environmental Affairs Agency, it was agreed to hold two weekly meetings to solve the problems of environmental approvals for investors, while providing the technical personnel required to assess and review the environmental studies submitted by investors regarding Industrial Zones in order to obtain the necessary environmental approvals for projects as quickly as possible.
With regard to the activation of the investment map and offering Industrial Zones on it, Minister of Local Development explained that coordination has been made between IDA and GAFI to activate the investment map. Data on vacant land plots to be offered during the next offering has been prepared, along with a list of targeted indicative activities to be included in the map. Furthermore, it was agreed to set a date for offering vacant industrial lands on the investment map before the end of this year.