By Shaimaa Al-Aees and Mostafa Fahmy
Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Tarek Qabil told Daily News Egypt that the government intends to launch an initial investment fund of EGP 150m to finance stalled factories, starting in two weeks to one month.
Qabil said the ministry agreed with Industrial Modernisation Centre (IMC) and the Ministry of Planning, represented by the National Investment Bank (NIB), to contribute to the initial capital of the fund’s financing in equal shares among the three parties.
Qabil added that the ministry will contribute to the fund’s capital through its allocations in the budget.
The minister noted that the ministry is negotiating with several other agencies to contribute to the fund’s financing to raise capital, but refused to disclose the new authorities until they reach a final agreement.
The Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade targets the development of exports by 10% and providing 3m job opportunities in its mid-term plan, according to the minister.
Qabil said President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi assigned the government to reduce the budget deficit by 1.5%, and increase GDP by 1.5%, as well as reducing unemployment by 1.5%.
Regarding the problem of obtaining licences for local or foreign investors, Qabil said according to the World Bank report it requires about 634 days since the start of the licensing procedures until the beginning of the project.
The minister revealed that EGP 100m was allocated for a training and qualification programme for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for next year.
“The ministry’s plan will handle issuing a food safety law, adopting it with other laws, and restructuring the law,” Qabil added. “There are eight or nine companies for cars assembly, and we seek manufacturing automotives in our mid-term plan”.
The ministry’s plan will take into account increasing the competitiveness of Egyptian products in global markets and supporting the sectors that have priority on the government’s agenda.
He said the ministry has managed to raise export support allocations to EGP 3.7bn during the current fiscal year, compared to EGP 2.6bn last fiscal year, marking an increase of 30%.
“Last September, the ministry spent EGP 400m in export support dues for exporters, and has allocated another EGP 200m in October, and EGP 300m for the current month,” Qabil said.