At the beginning of her visit to the US capital "Washington" to chair Egypt's delegation at the World Bank's (WB) Annual Meetings, the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation held several meetings with investors and US companies in various fields such as energy, oil, transportation and industry. The Egyptian delegation features Chairman of the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) Mr. Mohammed Farid, Chairman of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) Mr. Mohamed Omran, the Minister's Senior Advisor for Economic Affairs Dr. Shehab Marzeban and the Minister's Advisor for Economic Affairs Ms. Nehal Helmy.
The Minister mentioned that the Investment Law included articles on governance, transparency, accountability and disclosure, emphasizing that Egypt had all qualifications and competitive advantages to attract investments.
She indicated that Egypt launched the economic reform program to increase growth and improve the investment environment so as to be attractive for investors, besides adopting expansion policies though increasing direct investments, which had a tangible impact on increasing investment rates during the previous fiscal year by 14.5%. The government worked on eliminating obstacles facing investors in Egypt, added the Minister, asserting MIIC's keenness on increasing the US investments in Egypt.
According to Dr. Nasr, the government worked on the legislative framework for improving the investment environment, given that the Cabinet approved the Investment Law's Executive Regulations, the Financial Leasing and Factoring Law, and amendments to the Capital Market and Companies Laws. This is in addition to focusing on the dispute amicable settlement mechanism through activating decisions of the investment disputes settlement committee in manner that would guarantee the rights of the state and investors, besides adopting the ISC's mechanism through strengthening institutions that deal with investors with a view to facilitate procedures and cut red tape.
MIIC, as explained by the Minister, in coordination with the rest of ministries, worked on finalizing the comprehensive investment map including various investment opportunities before Egyptian, Arab and foreign investors. The map would present real opportunities based on analyzing the value chain and local resources in all sectors and governorates, besides presenting the opportunities of establishing major projects and SMEs.
In addition, the Minister ascertained that the government gave due regard to the private sectors' contribution to the development process through taking part in the implementation of mega national projects, topped by the Suez Canal Development Project that aims to obtain the optimum benefit from the great potentials of such promising area, being a bridge between the East and the West. This is in addition to establishing a number of new cities, including the New Administrative Capital and the New Alamein, besides creating a legislative environment attractive for the private sector. This, as stated by Dr. Nasr, what has been accomplished through the Investment Law and its supplementing laws, besides developing the infrastructure including roads, electricity, water and energy through broadening partnership projects with the private sector through providing funds to the private sector.
On their part, investors and US companies commended the economic reform program and its procedures and legislative framework to improve the investment climate, expressing their willingness to increase their investments in Egypt during the upcoming period.
It is worth noting that the Minister is expected to hold several meetings on the sidelines of the WB's annual meetings with officials at the WB and IFC as well as with Egypt's development partners, among of which are the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). The Minister is also expected to deliver a speech in a number of high-level sessions and to assume the presidency of the African Group, affiliated to the WB, to be hosted in Egypt in 2018. In addition, she will be delivering a speech before the G24, in presence of the WB's President Jim Yong Kim, given that the G24 focuses on the development aspect of its member states to come up with a common platform to be presented to the WB so as to achieve their development goals.