Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

AAAM Explores Investment Opportunities in Automotive Sector at Egypt's East Port Said Zone

Sun 04 Jun 2023 | 05:09 AM
Taarek Refaat

A delegation from the Association of Automotive Manufacturers in Africa “AAAM” held its periodic meeting in East Port Said industrial zone, in the presence of Ahmed Samir, Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry, Walied Gamal El-Dien, Chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE), Karim Sami Saad, Chairman of East Port Said Development, and representatives of the most prominent car manufacturers and their components.

The meeting was held by Mike Whitfield, President of the Association, Consultant for Political Affairs and External Relations of the Nissan Group, and Martina Biene, CEO and Managing Director of the Volkswagen Group South Africa.

"The automotive industry and its feeding industries are one of the industrial sectors targeted to be localized in the SCZONE's strategic plan 2020/2025, in terms of its prime and unique location, especially with the integration of East Port Said industrial zone with its Port and the ease of access to regional markets, also the investment incentives for the automotive industry that launched by the Egyptian government last October, to meet the needs of the increasing demand for this sector during the coming years in both the local and African markets," Waleid Gamal ELdien SCZONE Chairman said.

In the same context, Mike Whitfield, President of AAAM Advisor to Nissan Motor Corporation said that: "Egypt will be a hub for vehichle manufacturing and a significant player in the auto production and trade system within the AfCFTA. Which will see a growth in demand from 1.1mn new vehichles to 5mn in the next 15 years. This will enable deep industrialization of the value chain in Egypt and across africa."

Chairman of East Port Said Development Eng. Karim Sami Saad commented: “The integration of various elements within the East Port Said industrial zone makes it the prime destination for harnessing opportunities and maximizing benefits for the automotive sector in the region. Through strategic development and enhancing local and worldwide partnerships, we aim to create a thriving automotive ecosystem that attracts investments, fosters innovation, and drives economic growth.”

“East Port Said Development Company is making efforts to attract a number of different brands from global automobile manufacturers to participate in a joint automotive manufacturing complex. East Port Said aims to establish a specialized zone for automotive manufacturing, known as EPAZ”. Dr. Ahmed Fikry Abdelwahab, the Managing Director of EP and Vice president of AAAM said

"The AAAM applauds Egypt's East Portsaid for developing a world classs ecosystem of logistics, infrastructure, and services, that will support the evolving auto industry on the African continent."

David Coffey, CEO of AAAM announced after the meeting, the delegation visited East Port Said Port to get acquainted with its components, which was recently ranked among the top 10 global ports in terms of efficiency, according to a World Bank report. The delegation also inspected the container berth operated by the Suez Canal Container Terminal, and the Suez Canal Ro-Ro Terminal, which is operated by an international consortium including Toyota Tsusho, NYK and AGL.

The delegation also visited the construction site of the Egyptian National Company for Railway Industries (NERIC) factory, which aims to assemble Rolling Stock and subway vehicles locally to be localized locally. The delegation was received by Eng. Ahmed Al-Mofti, General Manager of NERIC, who confirmed that the company has ambitious plans to start production during the first quarter of 2024, within the framework of the strategic plan and Egypt’s Vision 2030, pointing out that NERIC has signed a cooperation agreement with Hyundai Rotem to supply 320 A metro carriage for subway lines 2 and 3, and a contract is underway to produce 500 railway passenger cars.

After the end of the site visit, a meeting was held for the delegation, with the participation of Gerhard Botha, General Manager of Toyota Motors South Africa, Sharon Nishi, Managing Director of General Motors Egypt and South Africa, and Markus Thill, CEO of Bosch in the African region.

The meeting was to review the automotive industry strategy in Egypt and the incentives offered by the government to promote and localize that promising sector in the Egyptian and African markets.

It is noteworthy that the Association of Automotive Manufacturers in Africa aims to work with countries and institutions in the African continent to promote the development of regional value chains for the manufacture and supply of components and to enhance the automotive sector throughout the continent.