CIF in building the most important financial center for the Middle East

22-11-2023 11:00:00 | by: Marlene Mutimawase | hits: 221 | Tags:

Cairo International Financial Center to be the most important financial center and the primary platform for venture capital funds in the Middle East. Mr. Hossam Heiba, CEO of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, said that the government aims for CIFC to be the most prominent financial center and the primary platform for risk capital funds in MENA region.

The CIFC will enjoy the incentives and guarantees granted to Private Free Zones and will have representatives from the most important investment funds and branches of international banks in order to provide the necessary financing for traditional private sector projects, emerging companies, and infrastructure projects in Egypt and the region.

These statements were quoted during the participation of GAFI CEO in the Venture Capital Summit, organized by EPEA – Egyptian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, GIZ – German Agency for International Cooperation, and FMO – Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank.

GAFI CEO signed this year a MoU to establish CIFC in the New Administrative Capital in order to enhance Egypt investment inflows and outflows, through local and foreign financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies, financial intermediaries and investment funds.

Mr. Heiba said that the global economy is currently being reconstituted, and there are industries being transferred from China and Europe to a number of countries, on top of which is Egypt, thus, becoming an essential link in the global value-added chains, due to its relative advantages of a distinguished location, advanced infrastructure, and abundant labor.

In addition to investment and trade agreements that link Egypt to an African market that includes 1.3 billion consumers. He pointed out that the recent visits he made to a number of countries intended to transfer expertise and strengthen cooperation to support the Egyptian business environment, where the obtainment of venture capital from Investment funds in Hong Kong and Mauritius was targeted, and the establishment of a center for the creativity and industrial innovation, in cooperation with the Japanese side, was discussed.

GAFI CEO reviewed the Government’s efforts to support the entrepreneurship environment in Egypt in accordance with Egypt Vision 2030 – Sustainable Development Strategy, as the government aims to enhance the role of entrepreneurs and the private sector to achieve the goal of Egypt being among the top 30 countries in the indicators of human and economic development, governance and anti-corruption. 

Regarding entrepreneurship activity, Mr. Heiba said that the Government, in partnership with World Bank, launched a venture capital fund worth $50 million in 2023. Moreover, an electronic platform for companies incorporation was launched, which is witnessing great turnout, and the number of sole proprietorships incorporated electronically has doubled on a monthly basis.

“In addition, a special unit for supporting entrepreneurship activities has been established, which is directly affiliated to the Council of Ministers, and an electronic platform for this unit will soon be launched to discuss everything related to entrepreneurship and communicating with entrepreneurs. Furthermore, Private Free Zones establishment has been expanded without being restricted by a location or a minimum capital, which is suitable for entrepreneurship activities.” He added.

Mr. Heiba assured GAFI’s continuous participation in the events of entrepreneurship community and helping them face challenges, in addition to the Government’s openness to suggestions by entrepreneurs and risk capital investors to improve the business environment.