The first session of the Forum of Heads of African Investment Promotion Agencies is to be held on June 11-14 in Sharm El-Sheikh and attended by Prime Minister where investment ministers and heads of investment agencies from 33 African countries are invited.
Counselor Abdel Wahab: From January to April 2021, 13 new projects were approved, with capital of USD167 million and investment costs of USD748 million.
A number of 9434 companies were incorporated from January to April 2021 compared to 6778 companies during the same period in 2020 showing an increase of 39.2%.
Dr. Mustafa Madbouly, Prime Minister, met yesterday evening, Counselor Mohamed Abdel Wahab, GFAI CEO to review a number of important files that GAFI is working on.
At the outset of the meeting, GFAI CEO reported on the arrangements made by GAFI to organize the first session of the Forum of Heads of African Investment Promotion Agencies on June 11-14, 2021 in Sharm El-Sheikh with the Prime Minister in attendance and the participation of African investment ministers, heads of African investment agencies representing 33 African countries, a number of representatives of international and African economic blocs and institutions, including Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the president of WAIPA organization, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission (AUC), a representative of the African Development Bank, a representative of the African Export and Import Bank, as well as a group of senior Egyptian businessmen.
During the meeting, GAFI CEO said that the forum will include about 7 important sessions that will discuss issues related to strengthening cooperation in the business field, whether at the governmental level or at the private sector level, in addition to holding joint business meetings between Egyptian and African businessmen.
Counselor Mohamed Abdel-Wahab added that the sessions will address such topics: enhancing the participation of the private sector in Africa; the role of governments and regional partners; investing in infrastructure projects regionally as a means to further link the countries of Africa and improve the level of competitiveness; the efforts of African countries to play a greater role in global markets; encouraging intra-African investments and increasing the volume of Egyptian investments in the African continent; and ways to get rid of the financing gap that hinders the goals of the African Agenda 2063.
In another context, GAFI CEO presented a summary of the performance of the Free Zones until the end of last April, explaining that with regard to the status of occupancy in Public Free Zones, there are currently nine Public Free Zones that started the activity, in addition to 205 private free zone projects, and the occupancy rate of the areas designated for projects in Public Free Zones reached 85%.
In this context, the number of projects operating within Free Zones Framework reached 1,088, and the volume of capital invested in free zones projects reached USD13.4 billion. The volume of Arab and foreign capital contributions recorded USD2.4 billion, and the total investment costs of the free zones projects amounted to USD28.4 billion, in addition to 191 thousand job opportunities provided by the free zones projects.
Counselor Abdel Wahab also reviewed the volume of free zones activities during the four months, from January to April 2021, which amounted to USD4.8 billion divided into USD2.4 billion for merchandise exports for the free zones projects, and USD2.4 billion for service exports (representing the volume of business of service projects).
He added that a surplus in the trade balance of commodity transactions of free zones with the market amounted to USD465 million, and a new technology of USD315 million was introduced into imports of capital assets.
During the meeting, the approvals granted and the increases that took place in the free zones projects during the period from January to April 2021 were also reviewed: 13 new projects with capital amounting to USD167 million were approved with investment costs amounting to USD748 million. In addition to 18 projects that increased their capital with a value of USD131 million, 76 projects increased their investment costs by USD1.3 billion, and 56 projects increased the number of labor by 3,893 workers.
GAFI CEO mentioned the number of companies that were incorporated during the period from January to April 2021. Number of companies incorporated during the foregoing period amounted to about 9,434 companies compared to about 6,778 companies during the same period in 2020 with an increase of about 39.2%. The issued capital of the companies that were incorporated during the period from January to April 2021 amounted to about EGP 31.3 billion, compared to about EGP 22.7 billion during the same period in 2020, with an increase of about 38%.
In another context, Counselor Mohamed Abdel-Wahab said that despite the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the global investment movement, Egypt has attracted more foreign direct investments in various sectors as the foreign direct investment inflows increased with the aim of incorporating new companies during the Q2 of FY 2020 / 2021 compared to Q2 of FY 2019/2020.
The contribution of Egyptians to the issued capital during the period from January to April 2021 amounted to about EGP 24.9 billion, compared to their contribution amounted to about EGP 19.2 billion during the same period in 2020.
GAFI CEO added that foreigners' contributions to the issued capital during the period from January to April 2021 amounted to about EGP 6.4 billion, compared to about EGP 3.5 billion during the same period in 2020.