On 21 November 2017, the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Dr. Sahar Nasr laid the foundation stone for broadening the free zone (Phase III) and establishing a branch of the Investor Service Center (ISC) in Ismailia Governorate, in presence of Governor of Ismailia Maj. Gen. Yassin Taher, GAFI’s CEO Ms. Mona Zobaa, the Minister’s Assistant Dr. Ahmed Abdel Razik and Head of the Free Zone’s Affairs Sector Mr. Ahmed Afifi as well as several leaders in Ismailia. 
 
At the beginning of her visit to the governorate, the Minister inspected the administrative building of the public free zone and agreed with Maj. Gen. Taher on an action plan for attracting investors to the governorate during the upcoming period through the establishment of a new investment zone there within the framework of activating the new Investment Law. 
 
Head of the Central Department of the Public Free Zone in Ismailia Mr. Al-Sayyed Selim briefed the Minister on the free zone measuring 677 feddans divided on two phases, the first of which is 110.4 feddans including existing projects and the second one, on the other hand, is 35 feddans including 98 projects with a capital totaling USD 683.5 million. He added that the investments totaled USD 1.2 billion with 17392 job opportunities, noting that relevant activities included manufacturing of garments, leather and chemicals, petroleum services, and storing goods and re-exporting them. 
 
Moreover, the Minister laid the foundation of ISC’s branch in Ismailia, in presence of the Maj. Gen. Taher and Mr. Zobaa and also laid a foundation stone for broadening the free zone (Phase III) over 212 feddans. She mentioned that the Ismailia branch would be furnished and provided with all requirements that facilitate for investors so as to finalize all incorporation procedures as soon as possible. 
The branch, clarified Dr. Nasr, was among several centers that would be established to facilitate for investors, noting that ISC would provide several incorporation and contract- related service, which was within the framework of improving the business environment. The Minister also pointed out that the branch would serve 5428 existing companies and governorates near Ismailia such as Port Said, Suez and North Sinai. 
 
Further, the Minister indicated that MIIC developed a plan for developing free zones and establishing investment zones nationwide during the upcoming years in order to absorb new investments, given that GAFI had not established any investment zones since 2012. MIIC also, noted the Minister, developed a strategic vision to maximize the role of free zones in improving the investment climate due to their role in enabling investors to transport and export their products and in rendering Egypt a regional hub to manufacture and export products to Africa and the Middle East. 
 
The Minister visited Velocity Factory for garments which exports 100% of its products and provides 2132 job opportunities.