Investors in the Egyptian Junior Business Association (EJB) believe that the Economic Summit set to be held in mid-March in Sharm El-Sheikh will determine the vision of the investment climate in Egypt during the upcoming period.
Investors said, at a seminar organised by Al Borsa newspaper on Saturday, that the conference is a good step towards reforming the investment climate.
The conference is not the end; it is an event where many projects will be presented, and whatever is not presented will be presented later, according to president of the EJB Hossam Farid.
During the past period, Egyptian citizens started to believe that Egypt’s economic situation depends completely on the conference, said Farid, adding that expectations for the conference are very high.
Ahmed Salem, Secretary-General of the association, believes that the conference is a message to all countries interested in investing in Egypt, adding that they have a political desire to participate in the summit.
“There are 1,800 persons invited to the summit, 900 of whom are foreigners. It is a message to the world that states that there are great investment opportunities in Egypt,” said Salem.
He added that the presence of all the executive bodies of the state, starting from the president to the different ministers, is favourable to investors.
The legislations are the biggest factor that investors rely on regarding Egypt’s attraction of domestic and foreign investments, according to head of legislation committee in the EJB Gamal Abu Ali.
The legislations, which the government announced are to be issued soon, are in themselves an announcement to the foreign investors, revealing the state’s willingness to reform the investment climate in Egypt.
Abu Ali believes that although the unified investment law is not issued yet, it is not a negative sign, but proof that the government wishes it to be accurate so that it would not require amendments in a short period.
“There would be no problem if these legislations are issued following the summit,” according to Abu Ali.
Mohamed Nader, member of the Board of Directors of the EJB, asked that the country decide what it wants from the investor, whether it is added value or employment, and to specify which kind of investments it would like.
Abu Ali also noted that EJB held many meetings with foreigner ambassadors.
Meanwhile, the Association’s chairman sees that the unified investment law must be compatible with the vision that the Ministry of Planning issued before.
Salem stated that administrative reform in Egypt is important. During the past, no one was discussed this issue.
Salem affirmed the private sector’s role regarding the upcoming development processes. Bank funding should not continue during the next period, which mainly funds governmental debt tools, whether bonds or treasury bills.
According to Salem, investment opportunities will not reach the private sector so long as the private sector funds governmental debt tools.