Prime Minister Sherif Ismail formed a coordinating committee to follow up on Egypt’s ranking in the Doing Business Report issued by the World Bank, according to the Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman.
The committee will look into ways to improve Egypt’s ranking and to assist investors in establishing their companies and obtaining the necessary permits to begin operations.
The Committee is headed by Salman himself, who said the committee’s first meeting was on Saturday and was attended by the ministers of Planning, Electricity, Housing, and Trade, the Governor of Cairo, representatives of ministries of Justice and Finance, Head of the Financial Supervisory Authority, Chief Executive of General Authority For Investments (GAFI), and the Egyptian Credit Bureau (I-Score).
“The meeting reviewed the 2016 report indicators, which saw improvements in the establishment of companies and access to credit, recording 73 and 79 points respectively,” Salman said in a press release. Indicators of construction permits and protecting shareholders rights as well as resolving insolvency and access to energy have also improved compared to the previous year.
Investors rely on the World Bank’s report to make their investment decisions as the report reveal the advantages of investing in different countries and the challenges they should expect. Salman said the meeting discussed the points noted in the report regarding the establishment of companies, obtaining permits, access to energy, registering property, obtaining credit, protecting minority shareholders rights, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.
Egypt has suffered declined ranking in the Doing Business index due to the multiplicity of authorities that grant licenses to investors and the absence of one-stop shops that provide all services to investors, as well as to energy and gas shortages, which have negatively impacted the industry and new investments during the past four years.
The main objective of the Coordinating Committee is to improve procedures in all fields based on criteria provided by the World Bank in the report to provide a sufficient climate for business that can attract investments.
Many actions were taken in the recent period to improve investment procedures, which require a coordination mechanism to highlight these efforts in international reports as they play an important role in orienting global capitals.
All participants agreed that the aim of the committee will be to review, organise, amend, and simplify procedures of all entities represented in the committee to create better a service that meets international standards. The committee said it will showcase evidence of improvement and highlight efforts in mechanising all procedures, including the one-stop shop.
Salman said the government has made great strides to improve procedures but the current system requires continuous development mechanism, as well as time to finish an integrated map of improvements.