Qena industrial zones get 150mln Egypt pounds from World Bank scheme

Egypt’s Ministry of Industry has pumped 150 million Egyptian pounds ($84 million) in favour of Qena governorate as part of a World Bank-funded programme for the development of Upper Egypt areas, Minister Tarek Qabil announced Tuesday.

The money will go for developing the infrastructure of two industrial zones in Qena, where each of them received 75 million pounds, Qabil said.

Launched in March last year, the World Bank’s $500 million Local Development Programme focuses on developing and rehabilitating six industrial zones, two in Qena and four in Sohag, which are among the poorest in the country.

The goal of the programme is to empower sub-national governments in these areas to deliver better infrastructure and services for economic development, job creation and social wellbeing.

The programme also seeks to  improve the business environment for private sector coordination and investment, strengthen local government capacity for quality infrastructure and service delivery in selected governorates in Upper Egypt and create more sustainable jobs.

It programme aims to “enhance the competitiveness of economic sectors with unrealised potentials, support industrial zone management, apply a performance-based grant system and increase the budget of both governorates,” Egypts international cooperation ministry said in previous statement.

Upper Egypt, which includes ten governorates, is home to about 38 percent of Egypt’s population and 67 percent of its poor, the bank said.

This programme comes within the framework of the World Bank’s Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for 2015–19, which provides about $8 billion to support vital sectors of Egypt’s economy, the statement read

The minister has made his remarks during his visit to Qena Tuesday morning, along with Minister of Planning Hala el-Said, to follow-up on the development works there.

“We have set performance index and action plans for the six zones through identifying the optimal method to manage them and setting the investment priorities according to the competitive advantage of each governorate,” Qabil said.

This will encourage more investors and owners of small and medium enterprises to come and invest in these areas, he added.

Egyptian government is keen on creating comprehensive economic development in Upper Egypt  while promoting it to create more job opportunities and attract more local and foreign investments, Qabil said.