In a significant gathering today, industry leaders, government officials, and key stakeholders came together at the International Forum on Industrial Zones to deliberate on the expansive needs of industrial sectors and to forge a pathway toward sustainable growth.
The forum was initiated with a keynote from the Minister of Industry, who provided an ambitious overview of the expansion of industrial zones, which currently span 12,000 hectares. With an estimated need for an additional 4,000 hectares, the minister stressed the urgent requirement to double the capacity to ensure the vitality of the sector. He highlighted the energy and water consumption challenges faced by projects, the necessity to support smaller enterprises, and the strategic allocation of land for future development.
A pivotal point of discussion was the regulatory aspect, which urgently necessitates an overhaul. The current regulations, some over a century old since their establishment in 1914, are due for a serious reevaluation and update. A new proposed law is awaiting serious consideration and adoption to ensure that the industrial zones are governed by modern, responsive legislation.
The dialogue swiftly transitioned to the topic of renewable energies, now more competitive and advantageous than ever. The minister projected a strategic development of green expertise over the next decade, necessitating a shared knowledge base and the adaptation of legislative frameworks to nurture an industrious ecosystem.
The panels provided a deep dive into the fabric of industrial zones in line with the new industrial strategy. Discussions ranged from recent project launches to the challenge of facilitating export through decarbonization, emphasizing the critical role of industry in economic development.
A non-territorial generic offer with sector-specific variations was highlighted, aiming to underpin the green economy with a compelling financial incentive—a 2.5% interest rate across all sectors except fishing and real estate. This approach is tailored to support the production of inputs, water management, and renewable energy initiatives...etc.
The forum recognized that the industry accounts for 30% of the sectors requiring decarbonization. A crucial insight was the centrality of the agricultural sector, where by 20262027, exports must be certified green, adhering to decarbonization practices from soil cultivation to export chains.
Stressing the importance of financing in the decarbonization drive, the discussion acknowledged the need to establish funds for efficient management and collection at a territorial level. This strategic financial approach is aimed at supporting industrialists in a targeted manner.
Moreover, it was agreed that decarbonization is a matter of energy efficiency, not just the adoption of green or renewable energy. The forum endorsed encouraging startups to focus on green, less energy-intensive solutions. Three crucial agreements were identified as valuable offerings: legislative support, energy performance contracts, and financial guidance for industrial choices.
A significant statistic was shared: over 40% of the electrical consumption is attributed to the industrial sector, highlighting the urgent need for decarbonization, primarily focusing on electricity and energy.
The forum concluded with insights into the attractiveness of industrial zones, advocating for the development of rental systems to allow industrialists to focus on their core business, enhancing productivity and adding value through their equipment and production.
As the International Forum on Industrial Zones drew to a close, the consensus was clear: the future is green, innovative, and founded on collaborative efforts. The discussions laid the groundwork for industrial zones to evolve into not only hubs of production but also models of sustainable development.