EGYPT - Economy
General Authority for Investment Authority (GAFI), President
Hossam Heiba is an experienced investment banker and direct investment professional with more than 32 years of experience. Throughout his career, he has held high-ranking positions at a range of organizations, including Misr Iran Investment Bank, Coopers & Lybrand Management Consulting, the Public Enterprise Office, the Privatization Agency of Egypt, Investia Venture Capital, Basata for SME & Microfinance, and many more. He is currently the President of GAFI. He has an MBA from the Maastricht School of Management and a BA in economics from the American University in Cairo.
Hossam Heiba, President of the General Authority for Investment Authority (GAFI), talks to TBY about what makes Egypt so attractive for FDI.
Egypt holds growing potential for investors. What key factors make Egypt an attractive destination for foreign investment?
Egypt has a population of over 105 million people, in addition to more than 10 million foreign residents, making it the largest market in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region. The Egyptian economy is also growing steadily, which signifies a large and growing demand for goods and services in the country, providing opportunities for foreign investors. Egypt is located at the crossroads of Africa, Asia, and Europe, giving it a strategic location for trade and investment. The Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, is also located here. Foreign investors have access to a large market of consumers and businesses in the MENA region, Europe, and Asia, while its central time zone makes it accessible to all countries. Egypt also has abundant natural resources, including oil, gas, wind, solar, silicon, silica, phosphate, and other minerals. This provides foreign investors with opportunities to invest in the energy, mining, and manufacturing sectors.
What are the most significant investment opportunities in Egypt currently?
Green hydrogen is one of the best investment opportunities in Egypt. The country has a number of factors that make it ideal for the production of green hydrogen, including: abundant renewable energy resources; a strong strategic location; and government support. As a result of these factors, Egypt is seen as a potential hub for the production of green hydrogen. The government has set a target of producing 100,000 tons of green hydrogen by 2030, and there are a number of projects already underway to achieve this goal.
What major investment projects has GAFI recently facilitated in Egypt, and what benefits do these projects bring to the country?
In 2022, Yazaki, a leading Japanese automotive components manufacturer, announced plans to invest USD20 million in a new factory in Egypt. The factory will produce braided wires for cars and is expected to create 3,000 jobs. The Egyptian government has provided significant support for Yazaki’s investment. Since then, the company demonstrated great interest in exploring the potential of Egypt until the project is realized. The government’s support for Yazaki’s investment is part of its broader strategy to attract foreign investment and boost the automotive industry in Egypt. Yazaki’s investment will help to create jobs, boost exports, and attract other foreign investors to Egypt. The Yazaki investment is a significant boost for the Egyptian automotive industry, with the factory expected to produce EUR100 million worth of exports annually. This will ultimately help create a new supply chain for the local automotive sector.
What steps has GAFI taken to improve the investment climate in Egypt and address any challenges that investors may face?
The government has taken a series of steps to improve the investment environment and make it more conducive, including the issuance of the New Investment Law 72 for 2017, which introduced many incentives and guarantees to investors. In addition, legislative, financial, and institutional reforms have contributed to streamlining procedures, eliminating red tape, and making the business environment more friendly.
How is GAFI working to encourage more sustainable and socially responsible investment in Egypt?
GAFI works to encourage more sustainable and socially responsible investment in Egypt in a number of ways, including: promoting Egypt as a destination for sustainable investment by highlighting the country’s strong economic fundamentals, its commitment to sustainable development, and its attractive investment climate; providing information and resources to investors interested in sustainable investment in Egypt such as data on sustainable investment opportunities in Egypt, as well as guidance on how to invest in a sustainable way; fostering collaboration between investors and the government to promote sustainable investment in Egypt. This collaboration focuses on developing policies and regulations that support sustainable investment, as well as identifying and addressing barriers to sustainable investment; and recognizing and rewarding sustainable investment. GAFI recognizes and rewards sustainable investment in Egypt through its annual Sustainable Investment Awards that showcase the best sustainable investment projects in Egypt and help raise awareness of the benefits of sustainable investment.
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