The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) launched the second phase of a digitalization initiative aimed at enhancing operations at the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) in Egypt on February 23.
The second phase includes SCZone’s Investor Services Department launching a ‘one-stop shop’ for investors to streamline investor services, automated by the EBRD to improve operations at the canal.
The EBRD will also provide technical support to help equip employees of the Investor Services Department with technical skills.
“The second phase will enable the successful delivery of an autonomous, digital and interactive one-stop shop. The SCZone’s project is a good example of how we can speed up the rollout of digital services and assist with the SCZone’s ambition to become a world-class investment hub,” says Alain Pilloux, Vice President, Banking of EBRD.
More than 60 services, including land management, project approvals, environmental approvals, company registration and foreign worker permits, will be re-engineered as part of efforts aimed at modernizing the SCZone into an efficient, competitive and eco-friendly business environment that is attractive to international investors.
The launch of the second phase follows the completion of the first phase – launched in 2020 and completed in 2022 – which incorporated a successful digital transition of the SCZone. Ultimately, the first phase aimed to significantly cut red tape by reducing the number of procedures for services such as construction permits and industrial registers by 35%, the length of service delivery by 52% while service charges increased by 110%.
Rania A. Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation and Governor, added that “The digital transformation project of the SCZone is of particular importance in light of the government of Egypt’s commitment to attracting and promoting investments in this vital region and to stimulating the investment environment, facilitating and simplifying procedures, as well as enhancing the organization of work and skills development.”