Samir Abdul Shafi, the economic adviser of the General Authority for the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone), revealed the SCZone agreed with US companies Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, Swiss company La Roche, and French company Sanofi to invest in the Medical City that will be established by the Suez Canal.
Abdul Shafi said during the first investment conference in the health sector on Saturday that the SCZone has allocated 4m square metres in Ain Sokhna to establish a medical city in cooperation with a number of foreign companies and the ministries of military production and health, along with the armed forces.
“We started to prepare the general plan of the Medical City in cooperation with a Spanish development company that is scheduled to be completed in June, and we have an alternative plan for the implementation of the project with Emirati and Egyptian finances in case the first plan failed. The SCZone is determined to implement this project under any circumstances,” Abdul Shafi said.
Abdul Shafi said that the Medical City will be allocated for the implementation of the pharmaceutical projects and medical equipment and supplies, and it will be the largest of its kind in the Middle East and Africa.
The SCZone agreed with the Ministry of Health on the establishment of a specialised department for the registration of new drugs in the medical city to facilitate the registration procedures, especially as a number of investors willing to invest in the city objected to the registration mechanisms in place.
Abdul Shafi explained the investment advantages in the SCZone and said that it has contracted with McKinsey Consulting Company to prepare comparative studies between the SCZone and the other authorities in the region, such as Jabal Ali, and to identify points of attraction and strength in the region. Studies have shown that Egypt is the best in everything except for taxes, as it is distinguished by its cheap fees for electricity, gas, water, and customs duties.
He added that the SCZone will hold continuous meetings with the deputy minister of finance for tax policies, Amr El-Monayer, to approve granting incentives to the medical city projects, including a deduction of 40% of the investment costs during the first seven years of the project.
The SCZone is planning to establish an integrated economic hospital in the zone to serve the workers in the Medical City and the surrounding cities during the coming period.