Prime Minister follows up on work progress in Damietta Furniture City and ways to maximize its competitive advantages
Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, Prime Minister, held a meeting this evening to follow up on the progress of work in Damietta Furniture City and ways to benefit from the competitive advantages of it. The meeting was held in the presence of Mr. El-Sayed El-Quseir, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Eng. Mahmoud Esmat, Minister of Public Business Sector, Eng. Ahmed Samir, Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Manal Awad, Governor of Damietta, Mr. Hossam Heiba, CEO of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI CEO), and Major General Hazem Hadhoud, supervisor of the Damietta Furniture City.
At the outset of the meeting, the Prime Minister affirmed that he is keen to hold periodic meetings with the concerned officials to follow up on the work progress on priority projects and to review plans and proposals for their development to make the most of them. He explained that Damietta Furniture City is one of the most important projects that the government is keen to accelerate its work to take advantage of the competitive advantage of Damietta furniture industry.
He added that the Government is determined to introduce a clear vision to bring about an integrated and effective development of the furniture sector in Egypt, maximize the competitive advantages of the sector, emphasize the added value, support and stimulate the supplementary industries, and develop quality specifications.
He also touched upon the possibilities of attracting local and foreign investments in the fields of developing and manufacturing furniture and complementary industries in Damietta Governorate, as the Egyptian Commercial Services (ECS) succeeded in attracting about 57 investment opportunities in the Governorate.
Ambassador Nader Saad, Council of Ministers Spokesperson, said that the meeting reviewed the status quo of Damietta Furniture City. During the meeting, it was confirmed that there are promising opportunities in the city that qualify it to export Egyptian furniture in general and Damietta furniture in particular to international markets, as its handcraftsmanship is of elite quality.
Ambassador Saad indicated that the meeting witnessed a review of the main pillars of the vision of developing Damietta Furniture City, with the aim of transforming it into an integrated city specialized in the furniture industry. Such will be achieved through deepening and advancing the furniture industry in accordance with the latest global developments, especially with regard to designs and development of production lines, as well as creating export opportunities for it, which qualifies the City to compete regionally and internationally, in addition to providing more job opportunities.
Damietta Furniture City includes a 129 thousand square meters area for workshops and hangars, in which there are 54 hangars employing 1,348 workshops. There is also in the City an industrial zone on a surface area of 590.5 thousand square meters, which includes about 145 factories and 13 storehouses, in addition to an investment area with a total surface area of 244 thousand square meters, encompassing designated lands for commercial services, a conference center, hotels, a shopping mall, a vocational educational center, a hospital, and an administrative and services area.
The spokesperson explained that the development vision seeks to attract investments by operating the hangars and industrial lands, and developing them to create a favorable environment to investors, as it was planned to offer 30,000 square meters of hangars in the city in two phases. The first phase was launched by leasing an area of 13.4 thousand square meters, with a total investments of EGP 142 million, providing 250 job opportunities. The second phase will be offered for contracts on an area of 17,000 square meters, with a total expected investments of EGP 293 million, providing 450 direct job opportunities. In addition to efforts to attract investments through the free zone in the city that stretches over an area of 150,000 square meters, logistics zone on an area of 32,000 square meters, the commercial center and the packaging area.
Ambassador Nader Saad added that the development vision also includes the development of the furniture industry through the Furniture Technology Center, which is considered the main element for development as it has existed services that are being enabled in coordination with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, by providing the required manpower, as well as the role of specialized institutes, which raise the efficiency of human resources and provide the technology to support said services.
The Council of Ministers spokesperson indicated that there is a package of new facilities to the manufacturers working in the Furniture City in Damietta through the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones.
He added that during the meeting, it was agreed that the Ministry of Trade and Industry would contract with the cadres required to work within the furniture technology center in the city to approve the products that will be exported.
At the end of the meeting, the Prime Minister asked to draft a road map for the development of the furniture industry, stressing: "We will immediately agree to any decisions that would achieve this."
Dr. Mostafa Madbouly asked to promptly hold a workshop with the presence of the Minister of Public Business Sector, The Minister of Trade and Industry, the Governor of Damietta, GAFI CEO and relevant officials to come up with the required road map.