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Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Of Poles, Elaraby and property taxes…

Ain Sokhna could be home to a new Polish industrial zone spanning up to 1 mn sqm in the Suez Canal Economic Zone in the wake of an agreement signed yesterday between the SCZone and a Polish special economic zone, the Trade and Industry Ministry and the SCZone said. The zone will focus on food, electronics and car parts and would be the first foreign industrial zone in the country to be set up by an EU member state, Trade Minister Nevine Gamea said. Polish companies that previously visited Egypt had also expressed interest in the energy and petrochemicals, and telecom sectors.

What is this Polish SEZ? The SCZone signed the agreement with the president of an SEZ in Katowice, an industrial city in south-west Poland. More than 450, mainly automotive businesses are currently based in the zone. Katowice SEZ was named the second-best in the world in 2019 by the Financial Times.

This comes just as the Russians eye Sokhna: The Russian government recently contacted the SCZone with a view to possibly opening an industrial zone in Ain Sokhna. This would be Moscow’s second in Egypt after the proposed USD 7 bn, 5.25 mn sqm Russian Industrial Zone (RIZ) in East Port Said, which is also part of the SCZone.


Elaraby Group plans to establish in 2022 an industrial complex for household appliances, its second in Quesna, Menuofia, bringing its total nationwide to five, CEO Mohamed El Araby said at a public event, according to Al Mal.

The group also plans to establish three factories in its Beni Suef complex next year to manufacture washing machines, motors and fans. The complex currently includes five operational factories with investments of c. EGP 2 bn. The group inaugurated in May its newest kitchen appliances factory in Qalyub, with an estimated annual production capacity of 500k units.

Ambitious growth targets: Elaraby aims to generate EGP 22 bn in sales in 2021, El Araby said, the same figure targeted last year, the CEO noted. The group will also aim to export appliances worth USD 250 mn by the end of this year — and to raise the value of its annual exports to USD 500 mn within five years, the CEO said.


Manufacturers could be getting a breather from high property taxes after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi instructed state officials to calculate taxes based on the construction cost of a given factory instead of its market value, Trade Minister Nevine Gamea told Hapi Journal. A proposal to move forward with this plan will be on the agenda during a meeting of cabinet’s economic group scheduled for tomorrow, and comes amid calls from manufacturers and exporters to scrap the real estate tax on factories altogether.

Also on the agenda in tomorrow’s meeting: A more favorable timeline for businesses to remit value added taxes (VAT), and measures to reduce the time needed for goods to be released from ports, Gamea added.

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