The hopes of establishing a technology valley in Egypt’s Suez Canal region have taken somewhat of a back seat to national issues - such as reforming the energy industry and managing its flailing pound - over the past three years. As such, Suez’s regional economy has neither become synonymous with the fast-developing technology sector nor strong ICT services as was originally envisioned.
There are, however, indications that this could materialise sooner rather than later. For Sisi to run on a re-election ticket of economic prowess in 2018, the Suez Canal must start to bear the fruits that Egypt’s political leader promised. Leveraging its potential to become a tech hub may aid the political elite, and thus garner steady momentum over the short term.
- Egypt’s Suez Canal is the focal point of long term economic investment, with the dredging and expansion of the Canal in 2015 only meant to be the first phase of this project. Inward investment into urban spaces scattered along the banks of the canal is phase two, with technology and ICT services earmarked to benefit cities that include Ismailia, Port Said and Ain Sokhna among others.
- In support of this, Egypt’s government has eased the barriers to entry in the Suez region for foreign investors by creating the General Authority for the Suez Canal Economic Zone, which stands as an offshore business hub.
- Although there are still several hidden risks to operating in the region, the climate for investment in Suez and the technology sector represents an opportunity for investors looking to expand operations.