State withdraws undeveloped land from investors in Suez

Egyptian authorities on Wednesday began withdrawing plots of state-owned land allocated to businessmen after they failed to set up their proposed projects.

Ahmed Amin, president of the Public Authority of the Northwest Suez Gulf, said the authority sent a letter notifying the Suez Governorate that five plots allocated to businessmen including Mohamed Farid Khamis, the owner of Oriental Weavers, imprisoned steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz and Mohamed Abul Enein, the owner of Ceramica Cleopatra, will be seized by the state.

The authority is awaiting the governor’s response.

Other lands on which 60 factories were built, as well as other developments under construction under similar land-use agreements, will remain as they are, including one owned by Abul Enein.

Amin said the total land to be withdrawn covers 25 million square meters, of which 14 million has already been restored to the state. About 17 million square meters are expected to be reallocated to the existing economic development zone, and the remaining land to the New Urban Communities Authority.

Mostafa al-Hayawan, vice president of the local economic zone authority, said the authority has taken steps to take back three plots of land that had been allocated to Ezz.

He said the land will be made available to other investors within two months.

Regulations governing investments in the economic zone stipulate that an investor who does not develop the allocated land risks having it taken away. The state employs such agreements to encourage investment and land development.

Investments in the economic zone in the Suez region amount to LE17 billion.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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