Egypt sits comfortably amongst its neighboring countries as a provider of quality communication and information technology, ranking 1st in the MENA region and 4th internationally as a global outsourcing destination. Due to the obvious potential the country has in the field of ICT, many tierone vendors and distributors have started focusing their attention on the Egyptian market. Additionally, the influx in technology startups which offer much needed services within the country, have also strengthened Egypt’s position as a globally recognized key market player. Teamed with a huge population, over half of which is under 40 and tech savvy, and low startup costs, Egypt is now rivaling India in offering technology services.
In 2017 the sector generated more than EGP 41.72 billion in revenues, and contributed 12.6% to the country’s GDP. In addition, in this year alone the technology sector has directly employed over 500,000 people including those working in the telecommunications industry, and the country’s various technology parks.
Participation in this sector does not require costly seed investments, and the cost of developing a website or application is comparably lower than neighboring countries. The introduction of the new technology zone under the New Investment Law will decrease associated costs further by exempting businesses located in the area from customs duty and tax on the tools, supplies and machinery that they require for their operations. A further incentive provided by the new law includes the ability to export products without the need to sign onto the exporter’s registry which is particularly useful for technology companies looking to expand globally
The aforementioned technology zone will also provide dedicated support to businesses working on the design and development of electronics, data centers, outsourcing activities, software development and technological education, all of which are relatively new markets which previously had little assistance locally.
Key to the success of this industry is the close partnership between the government and businesses, and in light of this, there has been an ongoing deregulation of the business environment. This attempt at regulatory reformation along with the introduction of a new technology zone under the Investment Law has already resulted in an increase in the number of companies operating within this sector.
The Chamber of Information Technology and Telecommunication (CIT) assists investors further by connecting local companies to their international counterparts, and providing consistent information on the developments of the sector to ensure businesses are in line with any changes made.