Al-Sisi directs for integration of Suez Canal Economic Zone industrial projects

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi directed, on Tuesday, for the integration of projects in the industrial zones of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone).

This will take place as part of the state’s strategy to localise industry, particularly the manufacture of goods and products that Egypt imports to cover domestic market needs.

President Al-Sisi’s remarks came during a meeting with: Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Chairperson Tarek Amer, Minister of Planning Hala El-Said, Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait, Minister of Public Enterprises Sector Hisham Tawfik, and Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea.

During the meeting, the President reviewed the most important productive activities to be established within the Suez Canal Economic Zone. He also reviewed the development of the state banking system’s digitisation process, according to Presidency Spokesperson Bassam Rady.

The electronic payment (e-payment) and electronic collection (e-collection) system was also discussed, within the framework of Egypt’s digital transformation strategy, which is increasing in importance to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The new electronic system also provides integrated security for exchanging data, and linking government agencies with the banking sector through government e-payment and collection centres. These entities have a modern electronic infrastructure, and provide an encrypted network to enable secure electronic collection and payment through various electronic platforms.

The President also directed for the speedy distribution of e-collection mechanisms as an alternative to traditional payment methods for governmental services.

In a separate meeting, President Al-Sisi reviewed the state’s efforts to support the activities of micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs), as part of the new law covering such projects, and its executive regulations.

During the meeting, Al-Sisi ordered for easy financing to be provided to MSMEs, as part of the state’s annual plan. This comes in addition to simplifying the registration procedures required from them.

Meanwhile, Maait presented the new MSMEs law, indicating that it approves tax rates according to the annual activity volume of such businesses. This means that tax rates of 0.5% will be applied to companies with an annual activity volume of less than EGP 2m; 0.75% for an annual activity volume of less than EGP 3m; and 1% for annual activity amounting to between EGP 3m and EGP 10m.

Maait said that the new law helps to encourage companies to operate according to the formal economy. It will also ensure that the state bares part of the cost of technical training for workers, exempting entrepreneurship projects from patent registration fees.

He also reviewed Egypt’s general budget, which saw the continuation of the primary surplus, the continuation of the decrease in the budget deficit, and the improvement of the spending structure. The latter occurred through an increase in allocations directed to social protection, and enhancing investments in infrastructure.


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