Director of ICE Cairo: “The construction sector offers marvellous opportunities for Italy”


EGYPT – “Egypt in the wake of the revolution/Arab spring is launching a series of mega-projects in various sectors, including construction, with the clearly stated aim of modernising the country. These projects are responses to the country’s needs, as well as a response by the Government to the current economic situation in Egypt – a situation characterised by a very significant downturn in tourism, a sector which previously brought in foreign currency and stimulated employment. It is estimated that about one-third of GDP gravitated around tourism”. Massimiliano Pio Sponzilli, Director of the ICE Office in Cairo, analyses for to InfoAfrica the context in Egypt and the positive impetus set in motion to kick-start the country.

“Egypt – he adds -has to face the dual need of modernising the country and responding to socio-economic issues. This is why a series of mega-projects was launched, some of which are extremely important – such as the creation of a new capital, presented in Spring 2015 in Sharm el Sheikh. The Conference on that occasion announced 44 major projects for total investments coming to 100 billion dollars”.

Some of these projects involve the construction sector, which plays a strategic role in terms of coping with population growth (Egypt currently has about 100 million people, two-thirds under 34 years of age) and consequently demand for more homes, offices, infrastructure, hospitals and hotels.

“One of the most interesting projects – Sponzilli adds – concerns moving the tannery and leather goods district currently in the centre of Cairo to a location about 30 kilometres outside the city. This will create extremely interesting opportunities for ‘reclaiming’ this area right in the middle of the city through developments including hotels, offices, parks and swimming pools…”.

There should be plenty of space for Italian companies. “Construction means buildings – concludes the Director of ICE – and therefore also finishing, construction materials, marble and granite, kitchens, bathrooms, sanitary-ware, tiles, door and window frames and furniture… This should ensure major opportunities for Italian companies, which are already active here and held in high regard”.

Massimiliano Pio Sponzilli will be one of the speakers at the 1st Egyptian Stone Summit, conference organised by Veronafiere in Cairo next 10 December during Projex Africa and MS Marmomacc + Samoter Africa (10-13 December).

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