CAIRO, December 12. /TASS/. A number of Russian companies are already engaged in direct negotiations with the Egyptian side on becoming residents of the Russian Industrial Zone in the Suez Canal area, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Vasily Osmakov said during a business mission to Cairo organized by the Russian Export Center (REC) on the sidelines of The Intra-African Trade Fair 2018 on Wednesday.
"Three or four companies have come here to negotiate with the management of the Suez Economic Zone, he said. He did not name the companies on the ground of a commercial secret.
REC organized a trade mission as part of an international fair, aiming at fortifying bilateral cooperation in the trade and economic field and promoting products made by Russian export-oriented suppliers to Egypt and African countries.
The project of the Russian industrial zone, a multipurpose industrial cluster on the territory of the Suez Canal economic zone that will offer new opportunities to Russian exporters and suppliers ready to localize their assembly and production capacities in the near vicinity of the Middle Eastern and African markets, was presented during a panel discussion on Wednesday. This year a framework agreement to implement the project has been signed and the work on developer contract has been started.
In February of 2016, Russia and Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding for the creation of a Russian industrial zone near the Suez Canal. Under the memorandum, the industrial zone, which will offer favorable treatment and preferences for Russian resident companies, will cover an area of 2 million square meters in the east of Port Said. Russian carmakers, petrochemical enterprises, energy and medical companies are expected to locate their production facilities within the zone.
The implementation period of the Russian industrial zone project is expected to be 30 years and will be broken down into three stages. The zone’s full launch is planned in 2050. Investments in the projects were estimated at about $7 billion.
In May 2018, Russia and Egypt signed an agreement on the creation of the Russian industrial zone in Egypt. The start of construction is scheduled for 2019.