Foreign investments in Egypt increased by 70 percent to $7 bn in the past two years. In a statement, the government said this is largely due to increasing investor confidence.
Hossam Heiba, CEO of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), attributed this to the Egyptian government’s investment-friendly approach.
Heiba spoke at the fourth edition of the Egyptians Abroad Conference. During the event, Heiba revealed that the government has issued at least 17 golden licenses to investors.
A golden license allows an eligible investor to have an expedited, one-stop approval for a business undertaking. From allocating land to obtaining a building permit as well as operation and project management.
Egypt gives preference to companies interested in doing rural development projects. For example, projects related to renewable energy, roads and transportation, ports, telecommunications and information technology. That said, approved projects must comply with government laws.
Attracting foreign investments
One of the ways Egypt is trying to lure investors is to make the establishment process quick and easy. Foreign investors can now set up companies in Egypt within 48 hours. According to Heiba, the government’s digitalization initiatives can reduce this even further, by eliminating red tape.
Moreover, Egypt’s investment laws do not discriminate between Egyptian and foreign investors. “Investment opportunities are equally available for everyone,” Heiba said.
Egypt considers certain sectors a priority for investment. These include public utilities and infrastructure as well as new and renewable energy. Other equally important industries needing investment are roads and transportation, ports as well as telecommunications and information technology.
Meetings with potential investors
In addition, the government holds regular meetings with potential investors. Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly himself attends these meetings to flesh out details of the investment plan.
With these meetings, the government hopes to convince foreign or local businesses to invest in Egypt. As well, they provide a platform for resolving issues that come up during the investment or registration process.
Prime Minister Madbouly and the Ministers of Finance, Immigration, Social Solidarity, Education and Culture jointly hosted the conference. Prominent public figures, including notable lawmakers, participated in the event.
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