Russia unveils plans for industrial zone in strategic Suez Canal Economic Zone to Egyptian officials

By bne IntelIiNews November 18, 2021

A Russian delegation unveiled the master plan for an industrial zone within the Suez Canal Economic Zone to Egyptian officials during an official visit to Cairo between 14-16 November, Russian news agency TASS reported.

Russian Industry and Trade Ministry official Roman Chekushov told the news organisation that the Egyptian officials “highly appreciated” the plans revealed by the delegation, which included representatives of the ministry, state development finance institution VEB.RF and Russian companies.

Russia and Egypt agreed on the principal terms of the project earlier this year, paving the way for work to begin on the site at the beginning of 2022. According to media reports, the two sides have settled the lease period, the size of the land plot, the rental price and the deadline for site preparation.

Egypt is providing various incentives to Russian companies to set up shop in the industrial zone, offering low-cost rents and preferential tax and energy tariffs. The Russian side wants unfettered access to sell 100% of their locally-made products on the Egyptian market. If everything goes to plan, the first companies could start operations as soon as 2022.

In terms of East-West relations, if the Russian Industrial Zone materialises, it would be a strategic coup for the Kremlin. Russia would be effectively getting a foothold on the world’s most important waterway linking Europe and Asia. Alarm bells ought to be ringing in Nato countries.

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