By Mohamed Fawzi
The head of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), Yasser Al-Qadi, said that the information technology sector has witnessed between a 12.5 per cent rise in growth in the last quarter of 2012, a four per cent increase compared to the same period during the previous year. He added that ITIDA aims to achieve a 17 per cent growth in 2013.
Al-Qadi added that huge leaps have been made in 2012 after new financial and credit incentives were approved by banks for industrial sectors. The banking sector was encouraged to grant a new series of financial packages to address the needs of companies and convince them to register on Egypt’s stock exchange.
He added that contracts signed between ITIDA, the Social Fund for Development (SFD), United Banking and the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), estimated to be worth EGP 450m, had helped revive the technological industry.
The agreements signed between ITIDA and the Egyptian Stock Exchange were successful in helping to register five Communications and Information Technology firms on the Egyptian stock exchange.
Recent co-operation between ITIDA and Egypt’s banking sector was aimed at creating new sources of funding for information technology companies, said Al-Qadi, adding that the biggest challenge facing these companies in 2012 was lack of a uniform set of banking standards aimed at determining how to provide funding for new projects, and what type of funding would be best to help transform ideas into tangible projects.
In order to address these challenges, ITIDA has been coordinating with the SFD, NBE, the United Bank and the Egyptian Stock Exchange to hold conferences and workshops to inform companies about possible financing packages made available by banks and the benefits of going public.
Al-Qadi added that 23 companies secured loans from SFD totalling EGP 26.808m, and that nine other companies are in the process of doing the same. In total 280 companies have been granted loans with updated registration requirements based on the standards of ITIDA.