Cairo is ranked the most attractive city to investors in Africa, snatching the 64th position globally, in a report released by the United Nations.
The report, entitled “The Stateof African Cities 2018- The Geography of African investment”, uses estimates of the indices of foreign investments between 2013 and 2016. It places Cairo just atop Johannesburg as a gateway for those wanting to expand in Africa, as in this three-year period, Cairo succeeded in attracting investments of about US$13.7 billion.
These investments originated “mainly from the EU, the USA and the Arab States, with the UK the largest single-country investor.”
A period of stability, alongside a new investment law in 2017 – which allows for tax breaks, rebates, and reduced bureaucracy – means that investment from China has also grown since the period studied in the report, from $255 million in 2016, to $408 million in 2017.
The report cites older legal factors, from the liberal economic reforms of the 1970s, to “the establishment of [economic] Zones’ and‘regional representation of investment authorities in Egyptian Governorates.”
It argues that such zones provide investors with incentives from “exemption from all custom duties on imports and exports in the case of Free Zones, to the provision of infrastructure and land at low cost in the case of Industrial Zones.”
Ultimately, the report attributes Cairo’s place to its large and diverse concentration of Egypt’s labor force, its managerial competencies compared to other African countries, and the ability of its companies to exploit modern technology.
It remarks that the Information sector “has witnessed a substantial boom over the past two decades and has become one of the leading engines of economic growth in the [Greater Cairo] region.”
The report ranked Alexandria as Egypt’s second-highest city for investment, but only 23rd in Africa. It lagged behind cities such as Djibouti and Tete, Mozambique