United Arab Emirates-based retail trade-focused Lulu Group International is going to invest DH 2 Bn (USD 544,510,000) in Egypt’s retail sector.
This development is the result of an agreement between Ibrahim Ashmawy, deputy minister and chairman of trade Trade Development in Egypt’s Ministry of Supply and Chairman of Lulu Group, Yusuffali M.A. The deal was signed on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi and will see to the opening of four new hypermarkets in the next two years.
This agreement comes at a time when there are already four hypermarkets in the making, which will total the number to eight by 2020. According to Ashmawy, the agreement was realized after a meeting between the Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Yusuff Ali in Cairo last year.
“This is a game-changer in the sector of internal trade. We know Lulu Group is a major player in the retail business. So we knocked their doors for more expansion, investment, and presence in Egypt. The pace of growth in the Egyptian market specifically in the retail is huge. This agreement is the starting point and we are hoping for more investment from Lulu and others,” Ashmawy said.
By Ashamawy’s revelation, Egypt has 2.6 percent population growth rate and consumers with high purchasing power, which are aspects that will help retailers thrive. “We are seeing an unprecedented growth rate in Egypt’s retail sector of 36 percent per annum”, he added.
According to him, there is a better investment climate and ease of doing business in Egypt, making it the best time for the North African country to receive investments.
“We offer incentives and concessions under the investment law. We offer a long-term lease and grace period. We, on behalf of all government departments, act as a one-stop shop and deal with all the developers and investors”, he explained.
“They don’t have to knock at doors of other government departments but with a one-stop shop can get all required licenses and ease any hurdles faced in the market. More investors need to come and see things on the ground.”
Ashmawy pledged high return on investments, increased turnover and added value to Lulu’s portfolio. “The government is very stable. The country has opened up doors for more investments. We have oil and gas, petrochemicals, retails and more to offer. We also have bilateral and multilateral ties with African nations. So for Lulu, Egypt can be a base to expand in Africa.”
Extolling the unrelenting support from the leadership of the “cradle of civilization”. Yusufalli said: “The excellent opportunities and facilities being offered by the government to investors will contribute to the growth and development of Egypt. We hope to create employment opportunities for more than 3,000 Egyptians through new hypermarkets.”
Lulu has one hypermarket in Cairo – which was inaugurated in 2016- and will open more in Al Narges, Al Rehab City (both in New Cairo), Sixth October City and Al Obour City. According to Giza-based Egypt Today, Ashmaway pointed out that the retail chains plan to pump further LE 15 Bn to establish new outlets across the country.
Image Couresty: Gulf News