Egypt has announced plans to boost the country's information technology industry, in cooperation with India, by the year 2002. India's minister of science and technology will visit Cairo next month to meet his Egyptian counterpart, Ahmed Nazif, and talk with data technology and communications companies on boosting cooperation.
The national plan for communications and information aims to establish cooperation between Egyptian companies and their counterparts in advanced countries, as well as attract foreign firms to take part in local services and productive ventures in Egypt, Nazif said.
For the second time in a week, the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) has approved the establishment of an IT company in the Nasr City Free Zone. ‘IT Works Egypt’, a joint stock company, will be set up according to the GAFI system, with $18.5 million.
The decision to launch the two IT companies came in response to government incentives including land and infrastructure, GAFI chairman, Mohamed Al-Ghamrawi, said. The Egyptian government said recently it would also slash telephone and Internet service costs with the aim of encouraging Internet usage.
Nazif said his ministry would slash Internet connection fees by up to 30 percent and will cut charges for 0-900 coded smart card services by half. Rates for international phone calls to a large number of Arab, European and Latin American countries will be reduced by 35 percent.
The reductions will benefit Internet service providers (ISPs) and ordinary users, he said.
The communications ministry has also organized two-week professional training courses in communications and information networks, which started last week. The courses are open to recent graduates in the fields of engineering, computer science and communications, Nazif said. They aim to upgrade the skills of about 360 IT specialists.
The minister concluded that the Egyptian market has become attractive to international computer companies. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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