The Egyptian government is keen on giving a boost to all industry complexes nationwide as they involve many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that represent the larger slice of the Egyptian economy, Minister of Trade, Industry, and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour said.
The minister said that his ministry has an ambitious plan to develop all existing industry complexes and build new ones. “We will start a new plastic industry complex in Morghom district, Alexandria,” he added.
These complexes will focus on making use of local materials to produce high-quality products at competitive prices so that they can compete in the foreign markets, the minister said. Such a project will bring in more revenues, help young people start their own businesses and will provide more job opportunities.
Abdel Nour made those statements during his visit to Damietta Governorate where he launched the industry complex program to support SMEs. The program, which has been outlined by the Industrial Modernization Center (IMC) and the National Bank of Egypt, aims at easing credit measures to finance current businesses run by owners of furniture workshops in Damietta.
The minister was accompanied by Damietta Governor Mohamed Abdel-Latif, the IMC’s Chief Executive Ahmed Taha and Head of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Financing Department at the National Bank of Egypt Soha Suliman.
The minister said that the program seeks to help furniture workshops in the areas of al-Sayala, al-Khayata and al-Sharaa, Damietta make use of current market opportunities and help them join forces to solve their joint problems, especially those concerning financing. The program will also offer these workshops services like technical support, exhibitions, training courses, and techniques to lift the technical competence. It will also enhance the scope of local SMEs, claimed the minister.
Abdel Nour told reporters during his meeting with owners of furniture workshops and members of the Productive Cooperative Association for Manufacturing and Marketing Furniture and Importing Wood in Damietta that the National Bank of Egypt would help furniture workshops purchase machines, equipment and ease credit measures to finance businesses run by owners of furniture workshops in Damietta.
Abdel Nour asserted that the project’s strategy comes in line with the country’s short-term policies to develop SMEs and improve the structure of business leadership. The program will also improve the conditions of workers and furniture workshops in the industry complexes, he added.
The IMC’s chief Ahmed Taha said that the center has outlined some prerequisites to finance the development of those workshops. According to Taha, the owners of the workshops have to be registered as members of the Productive Cooperative Association for Manufacturing and Marketing Furniture and Importing Wood in Damietta.
The center will also lay out a plan to lift the competitiveness of every industry complex based on field studies by members of the center’s Industrial and Crafts Complexes Program. The development plan covers an integral group of technical services and technical training, as well as training on financial transactions and development of administrative skills.
Taha said that the center will also make owners of workshops familiar with the different models of furniture, their origin and the basics of their designs. The IMC will also inform the owners about ways to use hand-free training to develop existing products and make new ones so that these products can be compatible with the state-of-the-art models in the target markets.
The IMC will train employees on some programs like Art Cam, 3D, in addition to ways to lift the quality of products and abide by international standards.
The center will also set up a scheme that determines prices of products, trains owners of workshops on principles of finance for non-financials, lays out marketing plans, and determines suitable markets for sale.
Moreover, it will create a website for the association to market their products locally and internationally.
Soha Suliman, head of the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Department at the National Bank of Egypt, said that the Cairo-based bank is keen on offering financing mechanisms for SMEs. The bank is also working hard to fund many SMEs in the coming months as part of its efforts to prop up the struggling Egyptian economy.
The Productive Cooperative Association for Manufacturing and Marketing Furniture and Importing Wood in Damietta aims to provide members with raw materials, modern equipment, and cooperative factories.
The association will also increase production of the workshops to meet the needs of consumers, hold exhibitions, and buy and rent necessary means of transport. It will also offer technical advice to improve working conditions.
Daily News Egypt