Egypt’s array of special economic zones have significantly grown in prominence over the past five years, with Chinese and Indian manufacturers making the largest inroads and headlines.

In April, Flex P Films Egypt, a subsidiary of Indian flexible packaging materials company Uflex, laid the cornerstone for its polyethylene terephthalate factory in Egypt’s industrial zone in the town of Sokhna, which sits within the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone).

The polyester resin manufacturing plant will see a total investment of $110m from UFLEX, according to Zawya Projects. The project is expected to create more than 700 direct and indirect job opportunities.

The plant, which has a capacity of 30,000 tonnes a month, is being built over an area of 250,000m² in SIDC Industrial Park, owned by Orascom Industrial Parks, according to an SCZone statement.

The statement said the project would be implemented in two phases, with phase one scheduled to start operations during the first half of 2024, and phase two implemented by mid-2025.

The SCZone chairman welcomed the Indian company’s decision to expand its plant in Egypt to cover the domestic market and to export to Middle East countries.

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“We are preparing to conduct a promotional tour in India to attract more Indian investments within SCZone,” said Gamal El-Din.

The statement also noted that SIDC attracted 12 investors, with total investments estimated at $3m in 2022. In the first quarter of 2023, six companies signed up with a total investment of more than $7.8m.