Maha Rashad, Strategic Marketing Director, ITIDA

maha rashad

What are the benefits of outsourcing to Egypt?

Egypt is strongly positioned as the region’s sourcing hub and a leading global contender. Possessing one of the largest talent pools with over 460,000 annual university graduates, Egypt offers a growing talent base with unique qualities such as multilingual capabilities and cross functional skills, all at an economic and competitive cost. The fully loaded operating cost of outsourcing in Egypt is substantially lower than Eastern Europe, and comparable to some of the lowest cost countries in the Far East.


Egypt’s strategic geographical location places it in a time zone aligned with Europe’s, and closer to the US and Canada than other offshoring destinations. This comes coupled with a reliable and scalable infrastructure, with state-of-the-art IT infrastructure greatly easing start-up costs and enhancing day-to-day productivity.


Furthermore, ICT is one of the strategic sectors supported by the government. In recent years Egypt has seen growth in the ICT sector, with 7.5% growth in 2012, and 10% growth in 2013. Overall, the ICT sector in Egypt represents 3.8% of the GDP. With a special focus on developing and growing IT investments, ITIDA provides guidance and support by assisting investors in setting up & developing their business, helping with incorporation, offering incentives, and facilitating work permits and technical approvals. Additionally, ITIDA provides a number of incentives to investors to help them establish and grow their operations in Egypt, almost 90% of the shared service centres and global support centres sustained by ITIDA achieved 50% y-o-y growth.


Egypt is set to become a Regional Hub for ICT based innovations and entrepreneurship. In recent years, despite political instability, the technological innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem has been blossoming. The Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Centre, affiliated to ITIDA is supporting this growth with targeted strategies and programs.


Which cities’ property markets are particularly affected by outsourcing in Egypt?

Currently most of the international global service delivery centres and shared service centres are located around Cairo, however the popularity of Alexandria has been growing in recent times. With a population of 4.5 million, many global centres are now considering the city as a hub for the BPO/ITO market in Western Europe as well as an innovation hub for the US. The government is placing special focus on growing second tier cities with high potential such as Mansoura. The development of tier 2 cities follows government initiatives to establish technology parks in tier 1 and tier 2 cities.


What is Smart Village and why has the concept been a success?

Launched in 2003, Smart Village Egypt is the first fully operational technology cluster and business park in Egypt. Spread over an area of 3 square kilometers to the west of Cairo, the park accommodates local and multinational companies, government and financial authorities, educational institutions, and research and development centres, all of which share state-of-the-art infrastructure, modern facility management and a broad range of business and recreation services.


Currently, Smart Village hosts more than 168 leading global, regional and local enterprises and organizations employing more than 45,000 employees and with a plan to accommodate 100,000 by end of the year 2020.


Is the popularity of technology parks rising in Egypt?

The concept of Technology parks is growing and becoming a priority on the national development agenda. The Egyptian government is eager to establish technology zones across the nation to provide a supportive environment for the development of the national ICT industry, and boost Egypt’s reputation as a provider of world-class ICT and outsourcing services. With that in mind, the government is committed to establishing a series of technology parks in governorates across Egypt to promote economic growth that recognizes competitive challenges and boost local resources.


The technology parks project was showcased as one of the investment opportunities presented during the “Egypt The Future: Egypt’s Next Chapter” Economic Summit. The park initiative builds on the successful experiences of Smart Village and the Technology Park in Maadi, which has been operational since 2009. The Maadi Technology Park was established as a technology hub to bring together Egyptian and international companies specializing in business and knowledge process outsourcing (BPO /KPO) and information technology outsourcing (ITO), transforming Egypt into one of the top offshore outsourcing contact centre destinations in the region.


What can we expect to see in terms of new technology parks in Egypt?

Understanding the role of globalization that led to the worldwide economic integration process - in which trade, capital and technology are interrelated - the government of Egypt realized the need to grasp the opportunity of developing technology parks. Especially in new rural territories, it is important to capitalize on their potential and to provide them with the leverage needed to integrate themselves in the international economy.  The government is planning to establish 6 Technology parks that will serve the IT and Communication industries, develop innovation communities, as well as provide an economic platform for the operations of ITO, KPO and BPO, centres in Egypt, thus providing job opportunities for young people, as well as to attract the population increase to the outside of Cairo, Electronic Design and Manufacturing in EMEA region.


Located at the heart of a modern business environment in Smart Village, Information Technology Industry Development Agency, ITIDA, was founded in 2004 as an executive IT arm of the Ministry Of Communications and Information Technology, MCIT to spearhead the process of developing the Egyptian IT industry.

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