EBRD Launches Phase Two to Digitize Suez Canal Economic Zone

EBRD Launches Second Phase to Digitize Suez Canal Economic Zone
EBRD Launches Phase Two to Digitize Suez Canal Economic Zone

📩 24/02/2023 15:40

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is launching the second phase of its technical assistance program to digitize the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone).

Aiming to streamline administrative formalities and speed up the management of investor services, the SCZone official has established a one-stop shop for investors, managed by the Investor Services Department.

The bank is helping SCZone develop an efficient, competitive and environmentally friendly business environment that is attractive to international investors and will position SCZone as a leading space for global trade, industries and services and create jobs for Egyptians.

Phase two will involve redesigning more than 60 services, including land management, project approvals, environmental approvals, company registration and foreign worker permits.

Technical support will also cover full automation and digitization of a one-stop shop by building agile software and hardware solutions. This will create a fully automated and functioning Investor Services Department (ISD) in the SCZone to better serve and support investors. ISD staff will also receive extensive training to increase their technical skills.

“We are delighted to expand our fruitful partnership with SCZone and further contribute to the successful delivery of an autonomous, digital and interactive one-stop shop. EBRD Vice President of Banking, Alain Pilloux, said SCZone's project is a good example of how we can accelerate the delivery of digital services and help SCZone's goal of becoming a world-class investment hub.

Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the EBRD, said: “SCZone's collaboration with the Bank to accelerate the digital transformation process reflects the diversity of development partnerships between the Arab Republic of Egypt. and the EBRD at the level of flexible development finance and technical assistance.”

“SCZone's digital transformation project is of particular importance in light of the Egyptian government's commitment to attract and encourage investment in this vital region and to stimulate the investment climate, streamline and simplify procedures, as well as enhance the organization.” study and skill development.”

Waleid Gamal El-Dien, chairman of SCZone, said: “The one-stop shopping service provided by SCZone to its investors is part of its enabling strategy based on digital transformation as one of the main pillars of 2020. -25 plan. SCZone aims to provide competitive and simplified business procedures that attract foreign investment. We appreciate our collaboration with the EBRD as we work on the digitization and restructuring of our investor services. The cooperation also aims to increase the efficiency and competitiveness of the connected ports.”

The first phase of the project was launched in August 2020 and was successfully completed in 2022, significantly reducing bureaucracy for investors. For example, the number of procedures for restructured priority services (building permits, operating licenses, industrial registers, enforcement permits, inspection and control) was reduced by 35 percent, service delivery time was reduced for restructured services. Wages and service charges increased by 52%, while they decreased by 110 percent.

At the end of 2021, the EBRD has adopted its digital approach to transition moving forward, setting out a comprehensive framework for how the Bank will use its three tools (investment, policy commitment and advisory services) to support the digital transition in the economies in which it operates.

Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD. The bank has invested over €2012 billion in 163 projects in the country since it began operations there in 10.