Egypt and Russia will sign the final deal for the construction of the Russian industrial zone in the Suez Canal area before the end of 2017, Amwal Al Ghad reports.

The announcement was made by Egypt’s Minister of Trade, Tarek Qabi, during his meeting with Russia’s Deputy Industry and Trade Minister, Georgy Kalamanov, on October 3.

The industrial zone agreement, signed between Cairo and Moscow in February 2016, was designed to offer favorable treatment and benefit Russian resident companies, such as carmakers, petrochemical enterprises, energy, and medical companies.

Tarek Qabi further commented that the zone will cover an area of 5 million square meters in the east of Port Said. Cost of construction reach as much as $190 million, while investments amount to $7 billion, he added.

Russian minister Georgy Kalamanov stated to the media in July that the agreement is expected to pave Russia’s way to the fast-growing African markets.