Egypt lures investors to develop Suez Canal zone

2013-05-13 18:46:00 GMT2013-05-14 02:46:00(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

CAIRO, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Lands of Egypt's Suez Canal Corridor are not for sale but parts of the area will be offered for usufruct in investment projects, Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil said on Monday.

"The project does not allow possession of lands, but there will be usufruct," Prime Minister Hesham Qandil told the attendees while opening the first conference on the Suez Canal Corridor development project.

A draft law on the project's development took into consideration all standards of Egypt's national security and the Armed Forces, he added, noting "objective of the new bill is to organize and coordinate work among investment zones in Egypt and facilitate their procedures."

"The security of our country is the most important thing, which is the stance of both the government and the opposition," Qandil added.

Qandil said that the Suez Canal Corridor project will be launched immediately, pointing out that studies on the remaining parts of the project are still underway.

For his part, Housing Minister Tarek Wafik told Xinhua "today's conference with the Egyptian and international business community aims to further introduce, elaborate and delineate the project of development of Suez Canal region."

"The project is based on using the comparative advantage of the Suez Canal, as one specific privileged site in the world, where about 12 percent of the international trade and 22 percent of the container trade pass through," Wafik added.

The conference's objectives are to introduce the project and tell the world business community where Egypt stands now, he added.

Chinese companies were among the investors interested in the Suez Canal. China Harbour Engineering Company Egypt LTD is among the promising Chinese companies for investments in the project as it signed Monday a MoU for an initial investment of 2 million U.S. dollars in the area.

Last month, the Egyptian government signed an investment agreement with Chinese TEDA corporation to develop part of a joint industrial zone near the Suez Canal.

Egypt's economic authority and TEDA signed a 45-year usufruct contract under which Chinese investment projects will be established in an area of six square kilometers in the industrial zone.

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