Swiss-Egyptian High-level Delegation Visits Suez Canal Economic Zone

By Mary Nady

A Swiss-Egyptian high-level delegation visited the Suez Canal Economic Zone and Orascom Industrial Park, showcasing the impact of the collaboration between UNIDO, Switzerland and Egypt on promoting Eco-industrial Parks as drivers of sustainable industrial development.

The visit of the high-level delegation which included, Minister Plenipotentiary and advisor to the Minister of Trade of Industry, Amr Hazaa, Walied Galmaleldeen, Chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone, H.E. Yvonne Baumann, Ambassador of Switzerland to Egypt accompanied by Ms. Monica Rubiolo, Head of the Tarde Promostion Division of the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) to the Suez Canal Economic Zone marks a significant milestone in the collaborative efforts of the United Nations’ Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Switzerland and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) in Egypt to highlight the role of Eco-industrial parks (EIPs) in promoting sustainability and resource efficiency.

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Taking place today 29 April 2024, this visit underscores the tangible outcomes of the Global Eco-Industrial Parks Programme (GEIPP) in Egypt, emphasizing the commitment to fostering inclusive and environmentally responsible economic growth within the country.

Accompanied by esteemed dignitaries, including a delegation from the Ministry of International Cooperation, the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms. Elena Panova, the UNIDO Regional Office Hub Representative Mr. Patrick Jean Gilabert, the Division Chief of Circular Economy and Chemicals Management, UNIDO Headquarters, Mr. Smail Alhilali, and the Chairman of Orascom Industrial Parks Amr Elbatrik, Ambassador Baumann and Rubiolo’s visit emphasizes the transformative potential of Eco-industrial parks across economic, environmental, and social domains.

With the participation of key stakeholders from the government and private sector, the visit aims to showcase successful initiatives implemented under the GEIPP Egypt project and foster stakeholders’ engagement towards replicating the EIP approach across the country.

“Supporting partner countries to increase competitiveness and productive capacity of their industry is a major pillar of the Swiss economic cooperation”, said Rubiolo. “We are proud to support the Global Eco-Industrial Parks Programme, which in principle is implemented in seven countries, including Egypt.”

“The visit of Ambassador Baumann and Ms. Monica Rubiolo to the Suez Canal Economic Zone represents a significant opportunity to highlight the positive impact of our collaborative efforts,” remarked Patrick Jean Gilabert, Regional Office Hub Representative at UNIDO. “Through showcasing successful initiatives and engaging with local stakeholders, we aim to reinforce our commitment to sustainable industrial development in Egypt.”

Key highlights of the visit include keynote addresses, presentations by the GEIPP Egypt project team, the Suez Canal Economic Zone and Orascom Industrial Park and site visits to observe firsthand the positive outcomes of the measures implemented under the project.

Funded by SECO and implemented by UNIDO in cooperation with MoTI, GEIPP Egypt aims to demonstrate the viability and benefits of Eco-Industrial Parks (EIPs) in scaling up resource productivity and enhancing economic, environmental, and social performances of businesses. With a total budget of approximately EUR 1.6 M and a duration of three years (2022-2024), the project was poised to catalyze sustainable growth across Egypt’s industrial landscape. It is carried out at 3 industrial parks, Orascom Industrial Park, Robbiki Leather Cluster and Polaris Parks. Other main stakeholders include SCZONE, Industrial Authority (IDA), General Authority for Investments and Free Zones (GAFI).

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