Egypt’s rank in ‘trading across borders’ declined due to the tighter control of customs authorities at ports so as to combat terrorism by seizing cash and other kinds of smuggling, said lead economist and technical assistant to the minister of trade and industry Nermine Abulata.
The Doing Business report for 2017 issued by the World Bank Group ranked Egypt very low in trade across borders at 168, declining by 11 places compared to 2016.
Abulata added that the government is trying to create a balance between customs control and support so as to facilitate trade across borders.
The government has placed some restrictions on the withdrawal and deposit of foreign currency. This, combined with complexity in obtaining the necessary documents to complete the import process procedures, is another challenge which affected Egypt’s rank in the trading across borders indicator, Abulata said at press conference held Tuesday to launch the 2017 Doing Business report.
Regarding digital advancements and constant innovation, Abulata noted that a Trading Across Borders Council, headed by the minister of trade and industry, was formed by decree of the prime minister. The ministers of finance, transport, and investment hold membership as well as the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE). Representatives of the Federation of Egyptian Industries and the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce also hold membership.
She pointed out that the council holds weekly and semi-monthly meetings to discuss foreign trade issues and ways to address these obstacles.
Abulata told Daily News Egypt that in the coming years Egypt will be ranked in the top of 30 countries in trading across borders as new legislations and amendments will be issued soon, such as amendments to the Executive Regulation to Implement Import and Export Law No. 770/2005.
In 2008, Egypt jumped 65 places to rank at 21 in the report. This came about as new legislations were issued, such as the Executive Regulation to Implement Import and Export Law No. 770/2005 and the new Customs Law in 2006, besides improved coordination between concerned agencies. The country previously ranked at 86 in 2007.
According to the ‘getting electricity indicator’, Egypt jumped 56 places to rank 88 in 2017, compared to 114 in 2016.