Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman said Egypt does not have “the luxury of time” to remedy the bureaucratic hurdles faced by investors.
The statement came Thursday during the second meeting of a coordinating committee that was formed to follow up on Egypt’s ranking in the Doing Business Report issued annually by the World Bank.
Salman added that his ministry will work on facilitating investment procedures for Arab and foreign investors, state television reported.
Minister of Finance Hany Kadry Dimian moreover said his ministry has taken steps in the sectors of taxes and customs, such as the activation of the government’s electronic signature service on required papers. The service allows employees in both sectors to obtain government seals on documents online.
In February, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail issued a decision to form the coordinating committee, and it held its first meeting in the same month.
Included in the committee are Salman, the ministers of planning, electricity, Housing, and trade, the governor of Cairo, representatives of the ministries of justice and finance, the head of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority, CEO of General Authority For Investments and Free Zones (GAFI), and the Egyptian Credit Bureau (I-Score).
The participants of the committee said during the past two weeks they started working on measures to help investors complete the necessary procedures for establishing companies electronically.
The committee looks into ways to improve Egypt’s ranking in the Doing Business index, and to assist investors in establishing their companies and obtaining the necessary permits to begin operations, according to a previous statement by the Ministry of Investment.
Egypt’s ranking in the Doing Business index has declined in recent years due to the excessive number of authorities that grant licences to investors and the absence of one-window systems that provide all services to investors.
Energy and gas shortages have also contributing to lowering Egypt’s ranking, due to the shortages having negatively impacted the industry and new investments over the past four years.