Five American IT majors to set up shop in Egypt’s smart village
Several American companies have committed to participation in Egypt’s Smart Village Project, aimed at promoting the development of Egypt’s Information Technology (IT) industry. These US-based firms include Microsoft, Compaq, Qualcom, Cisco, and Oracle.
Cisco Systems, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, has already signed a $100 million agreement with Egypt’s Noor Advanced Technologies to provide Internet services including web design, Internet access and portal services, as well as ATM and IP services.
Citibank has signed a 15 million Egyptian pounds ($3.5 million) venture with Raya Holding Services in Egypt to provide virtual business-to-business services, with a focus on the pharmaceutical industry. Hewlett Packard (HP) signed a $25 million deal with EgyNet to establish an information center catering to the financial market.
A visit by President Husni Mubarak to the United States in April 2001 helped to seal alliances with US IT firms such as Microsoft, IBM and Cisco in upgrading the IT component in Egypt's education systems.
The French giant Alcatel signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Smart Village authorities in July to move its local office and its regional headquarters to the site.
The Smart Village project, which spans over a 300-acre area in the 6th of October city near Giza, provides land and a high-tech infrastructure, as well as a wealth of incentives to financiers looking to invest in Egypt’s IT sector. Opened November 2000, the project’s total construction costs are estimated at EP 100 million.
These incentives include a 10-year suspension of customs and sales taxes on software, reduced taxes on computers and a five-year deferral on all telecom related investments.
Such high tech industrial parks are designed to house company offices, convention centers, accommodations and restaurants. Smart villages are to open also in Mansura, Alexandria and Assiut. — (Mena Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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