On 15 March 2023, Hossam Heiba, President of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), together with Haier Group Chairman of the Board and CEO Zhou Yunjie, laid the foundation stone for the Haier-Egypt complex in the 10th of Ramadan industrial city, 65km east of Cairo. The Haier complex which sits on a 200,000-sq.m-plot of land, is the first eco-friendly industrial complex in Egypt.
At an investment of some USD100 million, the first phase of the project includes three factories, in addition to feeding factories. Production is expected to start in the first quarter of 2024, with an annual capacity of one million devices. Local components should constitute 60 to 70 per cent. The first phase of the project is expected to provide 2000 direct and indirect job opportunities.
Haier Group is a multinational home appliances and consumer electronics company which started in China in 1984; it is headquartered in Qingdao, Shandong.
According to Mr Heiba, the Egyptian and Chinese governments both aspire that the Haier-Egypt projects becomes the first of more Chinese investments in Egypt, especially in the field of technology. Haier designs, develops, manufactures and sells products including refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines, dryers, microwave ovens, mobile phones, computers, and televisions. The home appliance business, namely Haier Smart Home, has seven global brands. By 2020, Haier had been the world’s number one home appliance brand for 12 consecutive years.
GAFI President explained that the huge investment of Haier in Egypt is an important step on the way of bringing industrial technology to Egypt. The Chinese company, he said, will establish a research and development centre for their products in Egypt. Furthermore, the establishment of a huge industrial complex in Egypt, will attract new investments in the feeding industries and those related to the household appliances industry.
Mr Yunjie for his part said that investing in Egypt is a strategic goal for the Chinese government and companies that look to benefit from the investment incentives offered by the Egyptian government. This in addition to Egypt’s privileged location and its joining of the Chinese Belt and Road initiative, have encouraged Haier to invest in Egypt, he said. Haier CEO said that his company plans for Egypt to become its largest and most important hub for smart manufacturing in the region, relying on the Haier’s 10 research and development centres worldwide and the centre to be established in Egypt.
On another note, Mr Yunjie said he was impressed that the investment agreements with the Egyptian side were completed rather swiftly. “The Memorandum of Understanding to establish the factory was signed with the Egyptian government last August,” he said, “the company obtained the golden license in December, and today the foundation stone of the factory is being laid.”
Ahmed al-Gendy, Director of Haier-Egypt, pointed out that the company looks to make Egypt a hub for exporting its products to the Middle East, Africa and Europe, taking advantage of the trade agreements that link Egypt with Africa, the Middle East and the European Union. And of course, according to Mr Gendy, the factories should meet the needs of the local market; Haier-Egypt is planning to establish a number of commercial outlets in Egypt, and a customer service centre.
16 March 2023
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