Egypt’s Ministry of Planning and Economic Development runs a workshop to discuss the 2nd phase to develop economic blocs
18 March 2023
The Ministry of Planning and Economic Development hosted recently a workshop to discuss the second phase of the initiative to develop economic blocks---"Plans to develop clusters and build partnerships for clusters of medicinal and aromatic plants, pomegranates, onion, fennel in the governorates of Minya, Assiut, Qena and Sohag" in partnership with the Ministry of Local Development.
The workshop witnessed the presence of Dr. Shereen Khallaf, Head of the Central Administration for Industry and Trade at the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development and coordinator of the Economic Development Committee for the Local Development Program in Upper Egypt, which is chaired by the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, H.E. Dr. Hala El-Said, including representatives of various ministries.
Khallaf explained that the workshop aims to present and discuss the plans for the development of economic blocs in its second phase to the concerned authorities and the private sector and to review the outputs of the activities and their impact on addressing and bridging gaps in the value chains of blocs of medicinal and aromatic plants, pomegranates and onions, as well as identifying opportunities for integration available to come up with the final form of the plans in preparation for the implementation phase.
Khallaf added that the program is mainly a governmental program that is being implemented by the Ministry of Local Development. It is being funded jointly by the Egyptian government and the World Bank.
Shereen Khallaf added that the program comes in cooperation between several Egyptian ministries, including the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, the Ministries of Local Development, Trade and Industry, Finance and International Cooperation, following up that the program depends on some components, the main component of which is the economic component or competitiveness.
Khallaf indicated that the beginning of the work of the program came in the governorates of Qena and Sohag, then its work extended to some activities in the governorates of Assiut and Minya, noting that four blocks were launched in Qena and Sohag, in the first stage, explaining that the experience of working in the governorates indicated the importance of participating with a large number of parties in discussing business plans.
Economic blocs refer to clusters of producers already existing on the land of the governorates, Khallaf explained. They may be small clusters outside the industrial zones, but they have a huge economic impact.
Dr. Sherine Khallaf attributed the interest of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development to the idea of economic blocs; Because it is one of the Ministry's work files and specializations in economic development, where the Ministries of Planning and Local Development participate in setting the main directions for economic development based on the blocs that exist in reality, while working on integration in them.
Khallaf added that there was cooperation in some conglomerates with many central authorities. These include the Center for Modernization of Industry, Standards, and Quality, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, and the export councils.
Shereen Khallaf explained that the ministry's role is linked to coordination with the central authorities. This is to upgrade the effort to a more practical level. This helps connect it to directions at the national and sometimes regional levels as well.