Egypt's ICT "highest" growing sector in 20/21 by 16%: Amr Mahfouz

28 July 2022

The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in Egypt is very robust and it’s the highest growing sector with a growth rate of 16 percent in 2020/2021, compared to 15.2 percent in 2019/2020, CEO of Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), Amr Mahfouz told the Polish-English business magazine, Focus on Business.

Mahfouz, who is also an Assistant Minister for Growth and Development, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), added that the sector’s contribution to the GDP increased from 4.4 percent in 2019/2020 to 5 percent in the fiscal year (FY) 2020/2021.

“The value of Egypt’s digital exports grew from $4.1 billion in 2019/2020 to $4.5 billion in 2020/2021,” he added.

The Assistant Minister pointed out that Egypt is already home to 500 Fortune companies with the likes of Valeo, Teleperformance, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Uber and many more tech giants as well as local tech unicorns and startups like Instabug, Vezeeta, Fawry and Swvl.

“We’re confident that the sector will witness further growth amid the accelerated endeavors to achieve full digital transformation and the increased reliance on automation and digital services,” he added.

Regarding incentives and process for European (foreign) IT companies to enter the Egyptian market, Mahfouz said that the process is made quite easy, as ITIDA provides a one-stop shop for foreign IT & business services companies where our Investment & International Business Development personnel provides 360-degree support throughout the investor journey to help them maximize the benefits of investing in Egypt.

“We help them in building the business case, due diligence, and provide the right information. In addition to ITIDA’s full-fledged and the aftercare support for global tech players and ICT investments, ITIDA provides a full suite of incentives and other support to enable an impeccable investor journey,” he clarified.

According to ITIDA’s CEO, ITIDA offers incentives and assistance designed carefully from an investor's perspective and provided through the entire business lifecycle. It primarily targets to improve the overall cost competitiveness of Egypt's offshoring industry, attract more foreign direct investment and encourage the expansion of existing industry players and investors.

He also referred to the revision held by ITIDA earlier in 2022, to its incentive scheme, through its newly launched “Digital Egypt Strategy for the Offshoring Industry 2022–2026”. The new strategy offers a quantum of incentives in the form of annual reimbursement on OPEX per new hire with a declining scale between 2022 and 2026.

Digital Egypt strategy for offshoring industry consists of three main pillars: development of talent capabilities; development of industry ecosystem; and promotion of Egypt in international markets. Jointly, these pillars include 9 main initiatives to achieve desired goals. The most sought-after goals are to make inroads into local exports of offshoring services, with an annual growth of 19 percent, and to create nearly 215k jobs in the strategy’s conduct phase (2022–2026), according to his statments.

ITIDA also offers additional incentives for companies operating from Knowledge City Innovation Center, in addition to Government Support offered specifically for Electronics Design & manufacturing, he noted.

Source: Egypt Today , a flagship publication founded in 1979 by William Harrison.

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