Dubai: Dubai-based ports operator DP World has inked an agreement with the Suez Canal Authority and the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) to launch the first phase of an integrated industrial and residential zone in Sokhna, Egypt, it said on Tuesday.

Signed in Dubai, the framework agreement establishes a clear timetable of actions required to execute the first phase of the project, which is set to span 30 square kilometres.

Present at the signing was Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, DP World’s group chairman and chief executive, alongside Mohab Mamish, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority and the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone).

This follows the signing of a partnership agreement at a ceremony in Sharm Al Shaikh, Egypt, on the sidelines of the World Youth Forum in November last year.

The joint venture between SCZone (51 per cent) and DP World (49 per cent) — with DP World managing the zone — is expected to result in the development a comprehensive industrial zone in Sokhna spanning 75 square kilometres, in addition to increasing the capacity of Sokhna port and linking it to the industrial zone to fuel foreign investment and trade growth.

Both parties aim to sign agreements with companies that wish to establish facilities within the zone by March this year.