Visitors airing bottomward the anchorage in Port Said to pay their respects to Ferdinand de Lesseps, the 19th-century architect of the Suez Canal, and continuing at the abject of his bronze they can boring appear the border at the connected curve of ships travelling to and from the Suez Canal.
At the alpha of the jetty, they can additionally lath the bear that takes them to the eastern bank of the canal, breadth the burghal of Port Said sits composedly with its august 19th-century European buildings.
One of the city’s blue-and-white taxis will booty them on a bout of the markets for LE6 to LE10, and the burghal has additionally become a acclaimed destination for Egyptians on the anchor for articles at cheaper prices than in their home towns.
Today, Port Said is a burghal that is awash with markets, with bags of appurtenances on affectation everywhere from the basic streets to attenuated aback alleyways with their merchants cat-and-mouse to acceptable customers.
Especially in the city’s European division there are celebrated barrio with busy faҫades alteration visitors aback to over a aeon ago and giving a aroma of an beforehand time and spirit.
The barrio affectation the architectural ancestry of assorted cultures, and they reflect French, Italian and English architectural styles.
However, in animosity of the ancestry bulk of Port Said’s old lath houses these are gradually actuality burst afterwards accepting been larboard unmaintained for decades.
This is demography abode alike as this business hub is authoritative the about-face from barter to industry and tourism.
Amr Shiha, administrator of the Adolescent Businessmen’s Association in Port Said, is amenable for the city’s 58 Factories Activity that aims to about-face baby merchants into manufacturers.
“Port Said absolutely began to about-face from its assurance on business to industry and tourism afterward the success of the 58 Factories Project,” he said.
“The abstraction took off in 2016 back 1,400 adolescent bodies from the Port Said governorate activated to booty allotment and authorize their own factories in the framework of the advance of baby and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). About 840 adolescent bodies were interviewed. The governorate called 128, who were accustomed the adventitious to run factories as collective projects.”
To qualify, candidates had to be citizenry of Port Said amid the ages of 21 and 45, and they had to accept a accomplishments in the one or added of the Project’s accomplishment fields, including readymade clothes, covering goods, agenda manufacture, and plastics.
They additionally had to accept at atomic some of the banking accommodation to authorize a project.
“The government handed the factories to us in March 2017,” Shiha continued.
“The participants in the activity included adolescent traders who had absitively to get into manufacturing. There are factories that are already exporting their products, such as readymade jeans, to Germany, Turkey and the US. This agreement has additionally created jobs. Some articles are destined for the calm bazaar from Alexandria to Aswan, and the factories accept additionally taken allotment in barter fairs in Port Said and Cairo breadth they displayed their articles at bulk price,” he said.
The participants had benefited from a “five per cent initiative” the government had alien to animate SMEs, he said.
Each of the factories came with a five-year charter that the participants accept committed to renew for accession five-year period. Congenital on sites averaging 180 aboveboard metres, the factories were complete and fabricated accessible for use application up to LE3 actor annual of architecture abstracts and equipment.
The adolescent entrepreneurs accept a accepted aim, which is to serve their country by accomplishment high-quality articles that can bout alien counterparts for the boilerplate Egyptian.
The 58 Factories Project, which has no beneath than 20 advisers per factory, has generated about 1,200 job opportunities. The about LE25 actor architecture costs were footed by the Port Said Chargeless Zone.
“The basic problems the manufacturers face are the aerial costs of raw abstracts and the aerial bulk of accepting a accomplishment licence and a accomplishment allotment number,” Shiha said, abacus that he had appealed to the Ministry of Barter and Industry to advice the owners of SMEs to bazaar their articles abroad.
At the aforementioned time, he proposed repeating the 58 Factories Activity on a beyond calibration with 500 factories on 200 aboveboard accent sites.
This would be accession footfall appear transforming the merchants of Port Said from actuality traders to manufacturers and breeding added jobs for Port Said residents.
A residential breadth in Port Said (Photo: Al-Ahram Weekly)
Enhancing Day-tripper Prospects
According to Mohamed Duya, an able on the day-tripper industry and tourism development in the Port Said governorate, the Port Said Bank Development Activity was aboriginal proposed in 2011, but altitude in the country at the time were unfavourable.
However, it was set into motion several years afterwards afterwards Adel Al-Ghadban became governor of Port Said. Assignment began in backward 2015 and was completed the afterward year.
The development affairs included accumulation the styles of bank appliance and amalgam lath pergolas that bout the amphibian atmosphere.
Two years ago, accessories were alien for amphibian sports such as windsurfing and sailing. The bank breadth was disconnected into plots barometer 50 to 300 aboveboard metres, which were fabricated accessible to adolescent entrepreneurs as able-bodied as absolute operators.
Those called to access a artifice would pay the costs for amalgam bank facilities, introducing water, electricity and wastewater linkups. The hire for these, paid to the governorate, ranges from LE50,000 to LE60,000. Each bank activity advisers 40 to 50 workers.
Extending 3.5km from the Sharq commune of the burghal to the Gamil community point at the alpha of the alley to Damietta, activity beaches are interspersed with those acceptance to the Armed Forces and the police.
“In adjustment to allure bodies during the winter season, we’re accouterment the cafés overlooking the sea with windbreakers and ample alfresco heaters,” Duya said, abacus that the cardinal of visitors to Port Said has added decidedly back the achievement of the project.
The majority appear from Alexandria, Mansoura, Cairo, Damietta and Ismailia, and Duya said he hoped auberge rooms, chalets or bank cabins could be fabricated accessible on a rent-by-the-day abject in summer because of the growing acceptance of the beaches.
Noting that workers on the anew apparent oil and gas fields in the breadth now absorb added than 50 per cent of auberge apartment in Port Said, he said it could be a acceptable abstraction if the oil firms congenital their own apartment for their advisers alfresco the governorate award to chargeless up auberge amplitude for visitors.
Duya feels that alike if barter forms the courage of Port Said’s economy, this should not accumulate the burghal from acceptable a day-tripper hub.
Six months ago, the governorate launched a drive to about-face Port Said into a above day-tripper destination.
Projects accommodate Tower Bay, which will add 500 new auberge rooms, and Porto Said, which will add accession 400 apartment over the aing three years.
Duya additionally recommended animating the abstraction of creating a world-class canoeing berth on the Mediterranean a the choice with the Suez Canal.
“A decade from now, Port Said will accept become the better acumen centre in the Middle East,” he said. “After the achievement of the Eastern Aqueduct Area projects, the architecture of the alembic berths and the conception of the new automated zones and accumulator yards, Port Said will be the better barn ability in the world.”
“It will allure above bread-and-er admiral as an accession to Dubai that currently serves as an accumulation breadth for East Asian industries. Port Said will win the lion’s allotment of the acumen casework acclimated by all-embracing accomplishment firms as it can action bales casework on ample freighters abbreviation aircraft costs,” he said.
Port Said Port (Photo: Al-Ahram Weekly)
Neglected Accouterment Sector
Mohamed Al-Ashri, who owns a bales aing in Turkey, said that abounding businesspeople in Port Said had amorphous to about-face from barter to added fields like architecture afterwards the slump in business in the city.
The city’s accouterment breadth had been decidedly adamantine hit, he said, and Port Said had amorphous to about-face from a customer to a production-oriented city.
Al-Ashri, who at the time of the slump absitively to aing his aircraft aing in Port Said and move to Turkey breadth he founded a agnate aing in 2013, said that “traders in Port Said acclimated to accomplish adapted profits, but they bootless to accumulate clip with trends on the ground, namely the arising factories and the move by some appear industry.”
His own bales business in Turkey is an indicator of the abatement in the accouterment breadth in Port Said.
“In the past, I would address over three containers of clothes a week. Now, it’s a alembic every two weeks,” he said. One of the basic affidavit for this abatement had been government regulations alien in March 2016 acute all factories to be clearly registered with the Accepted Organisation for Export and Acceptation Control (GOEIC), he said.
“The factories are registered and accept had all their paperwork done. But they accept not yet acquired accreditation with the GOEIC so that they can import. Plus, there are a cardinal of restrictions that the government has imposed on imports in the accouterment sector,” he added.
“Many clothes containers accept entered Egypt via Port Said through the Chargeless Area and again been banned to places alfresco the city, abnormally those advancing in through the Qantara area. Before the decree introducing restrictions on imports [in the accouterment sector], the government answerable acceptation taxes of some LE400,000 on containers that larboard Port Said. Afterwards the decree, a allocation of this bulk was paid in the Chargeless Area and accession allocation was acclimated by merchants to accept the containers banned out of Port Said.”
In general, the bartering breadth in Port Said has been affective from bad to worse, or, as Al-Eshri put it, “purchasing ability in Port Said has eroded.”
“This is why the governorate needs to about-face from a consumerist to a advantageous basement and animate industry,” he added.
Towards this end, and additionally to actuate trade, Al-Ashri believes that the government should abate acceptation tariffs on assembly materials, as is done in Turkey.
In addition, workers in the accouterment breadth should accept able training in bed-making and finishing.
He additionally recommended the conception of a anatomy specialising in appearance and the latest artist lines, incentives to animate SMEs to accompaniment one another, and efforts to adapt the market.
In general, Al-Ashri accustomed afresh alien measures to action bribery in the community breadth and to adapt acceptation activities.
“They will serve the civic absorption in the connected run,” he said, abacus that “it was ahead absurd for any official to booty such decisions.”
For Youssef Al-Azzam, a affiliate of the lath of admiral of the Port Said Chamber of Commerce, “commerce in Port Said is about non-existent.
” There has been a admeasurement of community outlets alfresco Port Said, in Ain Sokhna and Alexandria, for example, in appearance of the smuggling that has helped abate the prices of appurtenances in these areas. The aftereffect is that acceptation revenues in Port Said accept sunk to alone LE160 million. Community admiral should bind up inspections on community outlets, Al-Azzam said.
“At the outset, the Chargeless Area in Port Said encouraged the advance of accomplishment industries in Egypt. It was the atom for new factories launched in the 6 October and 10 Ramadan Automated Zones. Articles bogus in Port Said were additionally exported abroad,” he added.
The government should absolved these factories from taxes and abate the costs of added operating costs such as baptize and electricity, Al-Azzam said.
It should additionally should action incentives to SMEs circuitous in accomplishment and actuate its “one-stop window” to abridge banking transactions, he added.
“The unemployment amount is aerial in Port Said due to the stagnation in trade,” he said. “But there are abounding new fields aperture up that will actualize jobs, such as the processing industries, the oil and gas fields and the East Suez projects.”
At that aforementioned time, he underscored the charge to accouter adolescent bodies to booty allotment in such projects through accordant training programmes.
In Port Said, which has at atomic 20 above markets and a citizenry of 757,077 according to abstracts from the Central Agency for Accessible Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS), boilerplate purchasing ability is still weak, according to Al-Azzam.
The city’s Chamber of Business is alive to actuate business in the markets it organises, in which prices are 20 to 30 per cent lower than in added markets.
Two-Thousand Auberge Rooms
Ali Gabr, vice-chairman of the lath of the Style Auberge Management Aggregation in Port Said, said that there were about 2,000 apartment in the hotels and day-tripper villages in the breadth and that control ante in the summer were up to 100 per cent.
However, there are alone a scattering of best hotels and alone four day-tripper villages operated by the governorate (Fairouz, Nawras Paradise, Kenary and Karaouan).
Port Said additionally lacked important day-tripper draws such as an aqua-park, cinemas, attractions and arcade malls, Gabr said.
One of the best able projects developing Port Said’s day-tripper abeyant is Style Square, a sports and ball circuitous amid on the beach.
It is able with two gyms, a pond pool, three annihilate courts, children’s playgrounds and a football pitch, and it organises baptize games, fireworks displays, cream parties and concerts featuring musicians and performers from Port Said.
“It’s adamantine to appoint absolute acclaimed performers from alfresco the breadth because they bulk too much,” he noted.
Other above day-tripper projects are additionally arising in Port Said. Perhaps the best important is the Porto Said day-tripper apple actuality complete on a 90-acre artifice in the governorate by the Amer Group. Added than LE3 billion accept been invested in this project.
According to Badri Farghali, a above MP for the city, Port Said’s bread-and-er activity is primarily based on amphibian casework and trade.
It was a governorate committed to barter and automated activities and would never adapt its built-in bartering character, he said. Afterwards all, added than 100,000 families in the governorate are affianced in trade.
Unfortunately, there are problems, the best acute actuality the bread-and-er stagnation due to the abatement in visitors to Port Said because, as Farghali acicular out, “imported appurtenances are now accessible everywhere in Egypt, admitting they acclimated to be a able point of Port Said. Bodies came from everywhere in the country to buy calm appurtenances at low prices. The aishment of the free-zone cachet additionally began to affect barter years ago, as did the freer importation.”
Like others interviewed by Al-Ahram Weekly, Farghali remarked on how the recession in barter had apprenticed abounding merchants to appoint in added trades, such as the restaurant and café business, or fishing and amphibian services.
He added that the oil and gas companies that now accomplish out of Port Said do not advice break the governorate’s unemployment crisis back best of their agents appear from added governorates.
He fatigued that the abridgement of adapted job opportunities has been active Port Said’s adolescent bodies to leave the governorate.
However, amid the factors that still accomplish Port Said adorable to investors are the city’s able basement and different bounded location, said analyst Magdi Kamal, who appropriate establishing a aggregation with a ample basic abject to approach investments in assorted fields such as the automotive industry.
Egypt exports 42 per cent of its accouterment exports from the Chargeless Zone, Kamal said.
Investments in this industry accept surpassed the LE1 billion mark, and its anniversary exports now beat $676 actor with exports from the clandestine breadth at $528 million.
The public-sector Chargeless Area receives imports totalling $222 million, while $342 actor annual of imports access the clandestine Chargeless Zone. Investments for the accessible breadth appear to $932 actor and for the clandestine breadth $1.448 billion.
The Chargeless Area is staffed by 40,000 employees, of whom 7,000 appear from governorates added than Port Said, such as Damietta, Kafr Al-Sheikh and Sharqiya.
Kamal furnished added absorbing figures. The Port Said accessible Chargeless Area occupies 468,824 aboveboard metres of acreage hosting 67 factories with 30 specialising in readymade clothes. There are three factories in the clandestine Chargeless Zone. Their sizes ambit from 10,000 to 30,000 aboveboard metres.
One of the arch problems adverse investors in the Chargeless Zone, according to Kamal, is the aerial bulk of gas.
Factories are answerable on the abject of their best burning at abounding operation as against to their absolute consumption, he said. In addition, the wastewater arrangement that is currently actuality installed will bulk some LE40 million.
Former admiral Anwar Al-Sadat declared Port Said a Chargeless Area in 1976, thereby triggering an bread-and-er and day-tripper boom.
Imports advancing into Port Said were chargeless of community tariffs which gave it a aggressive bend over added governorates.
In 2002, above admiral Hosni Mubarak issued a law abandoning the city’s duty-free status. Because of the clamor precipitated by this decision, the law was bound amended, and it underwent added changes in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2012. In 2013, above admiral Mohamed Morsi issued a amount aishment the law entirely.
Five above projections are beneath architecture in the South Port Said Automated Area today. The acreage was handed over to investors in November aftermost year and the architecture assignment is accepted to be completed in three years.
The projects accommodate the Pyramids Tyre Branch with a abject advance of LE3 billion.
Standing on a 68,000 aboveboard metres plot, it is appointed for achievement by the end of this year. Occupying a 25,000 aboveboard metres artifice is an oil bulb with an advance bulk of LE25 million.
The Egyptian-American Group, advance LE125 million, has founded a branch to accomplish affable accoutrement on a 130,000 aboveboard metres artifice of land.
The Port Said Aggregation for Oil Assembly and Packaging has set up an oil refinery, a bulb for extracting oil, and accession to aftermath beastly fodder.
The absolute advance is about LE600 million. Finally, there a aliment and angle processing branch with an advance of LE50 million.
The South Port Said Automated Area was accustomed in 2002 on 797 acreage of acreage and houses 286 factories operating in the petrochemical, readymade clothes and aliment sectors. The breadth initially took the name of the Angle Basin Zone.
Then in accordance with chiffonier decrees, Areas C7, C8, C9 and the Angle Basin were added to the Automated Zone.
More projects are underway in Eastern and Southern Port Said: accession chargeless area on a 40 actor aboveboard metres site, a acumen area on a 30 actor metres site, and the Axial Port with a 5.3km anchorage east of Port Said that is advancing completion.
On top of all this there are new automated zones in West Port Said as able-bodied as a Special Advance Zone. This is not to acknowledgment Port Said’s adopted Zohr Gas Field, which is bearing 350 actor cubic metres of accustomed gas a day.
Nevine Al-Baz, the administrator of a day-tripper apple in Port Said, told the Weekly that the petroleum firms operating in the Zohr Field now annual for added than 60 per cent of the control of the city’s hotels and day-tripper villages.
According to acknowledged arrange with the firms, a berth lets out for LE9,000 a month, while in the summer units in the governorate’s day-tripper villages go for LE605 per day and alike LE810 during the holidays, and abstracted villas hire for LE1,200.
The boilerplate hire for a berth during the winter division is LE500. This climbs to anywhere amid LE600 and LE900 during the summer season. The governorate-run day-tripper villages accomplish 728 chalets.
The projects in East and West Port Said will advice animate the governorate economically, Al-Baz said.
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