Silicon Waha, Chinese phone manufacturers sign agreements to produce electronics locally

Silicon Waha, a company tasked with establishing and developing  technology zones in Egypt, has signed a series of agreements with China electronics company ZTE and Transsion, the manufacturers of Tecno and Itel mobile phones ,in a first step of producing electronics locally.

According to Ahmed El-Sobky, the chairperson of the board of directors at Silicon, the agreements with ZTE and Transsion, as well as Huawei and Megan, are taking steps on the path towards producing electronics locally. “In a short period, we concluded deals with four of the most important phones and electronics manufacturers in Egypt to produce their goods locally,” he said, adding that a fifth company has requested to build a factory in Egypt.

Factories belonging to Huawei, ZTE, and Transsion will be built in the technological park in Borg El-Arab, while Megan will build its factory in the technology park in Assiut.

According to El-Sobky, part of the locally-manufactured electronics will be put on the market to meet domestic needs and reduce imports, which would ease pressure on hard cash, while the rest will be channelled to exports in order to increase Egypt’s US dollar resources.

The agreement stipulates ZTE will produce ADSL routers and modems. The factory plans to produce one million devices in its first year of operation, and aims to ensure that 60 per cent of its components are produced locally within 18 months of operation.

A Transsion factory will be established on an area of 5,000 square meters to produce mobile phones, tablets, LED lighting products, and consumer electronics, with plans to open a centre for research and development and another for software development in Egypt.

These agreements are part of the strategic partnership between Egypt and China in several sectors, including the ICT sector. This is also an implementation of the national strategy adopted by the state to localise the electronics industry. The strategy aims to make Egypt a regional hub for the design and manufacture of electronics.

This is in line with a presidential initiative to settle the electronics industry. MCIT has penned a plan to boost the size of Egypt’s electronics industry to $10bn. In the first phase, the initiative aims to increase export capabilities for companies operating in the field of electronics to $5bn, providing 25,000 jobs for youth, increasing the number of manufacturing companies of semiconductor chips and electronic systems to over 50 companies, and attracting foreign direct investment from companies working on designing electronic products and electronics manufacturers in order to create large factories in Egypt capable of supporting this trend.0