Dubai-based ports operator DP World has signed an agreement with Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority to develop an industrial and residential zone at Sokhna in Egypt, it was announced on Tuesday.
The agreement will establish a joint venture between SCZone (51 per cent) and DP World (49 per cent) with the Dubai company managing the zone.
The zone will cover 95 square kilometres and include industrial and residential areas as well as the development of Sokhna Port, increasing its capacity and linking it to the industrial zone.
It is anticipated to create more than 400,000 jobs.
The business sectors will include light and medium-sized industries, logistics, and service utilities.
Targeted industries include medical, electronics and communications, construction materials, logistics, textiles, automotive parts, food processing, energy production components and petrochemicals, a statement said.
The residential zone will span 20 square kilometres and will include coastal villas, residential units, shopping and administrative centres, entertainment facilities, mosques, schools, hospitals, clubs and green spaces. It will be able to accommodate 500,000 people, the statement added.
The zone is projected to start in the first quarter of 2018.
It will feature investment incentives and aims to attract foreign investment and promote the development of SMEs.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO, DP World, said: “The development of the zone will support the sustainable growth of the country and help it attract more business investment. It will also help transform the Suez Canal into a major trade and business hub in the region, given its strategic location and role as an artery for global trade.
“We are looking forward to working with the SCZone through this joint venture to develop the project using our international expertise and know-how of trade and logistics, to add value to the Egyptian economy.”
Spanning 461 sqkm, the overall Suez Canal Zone consists of two integrated areas, two development areas and four ports.
In August, Egypt’s Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr said that the Suez Canal Zone is hoping to attract nearly $30bn in foreign direct investment for its infrastructure and logistics hubs within five years.
The ministry is also hoping that the freezone will lead to the creation of thousands of jobs to boost the economy.