The Minister of Commerce and Industry Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour demanded that businessmen take a deep breath and be patient in the face of the challenges that the country currently confronting at the political and economic levels.
During his meeting with a business association on Sunday, he said that the current transitional phase could last two or three years, or more, like other countries that have had analogous political transformations. He emphasized that these types of transformations have a certain cost and are accompanied by political, social, and economic changes.
He added that the problems and burdens that currently face investors could drag on. He does not believe that the transformational period has neared its end, but he demanded that businessmen bear the costs of this transition.
Abdel Nour affirmed that without cooperation and coherence from all segments of society, government and private sector, the business community and civil society, political and economic success would not be achieved, confirming that the current period would be long.
He pointed out that Egypt is passing through extraordinary circumstances. He went on to say that the transition to a modern, democratic state will be difficult, but it is the responsibility of society to bear the costs of this transition, especially since a need of other countries who have already taken this path, like Eastern Europe, Indonesia, Spain, Portugal, and others, took a long time in order to achieve this dream.
Commenting on the lack of utilized industrial land, he said that he strongly supports the return of the state in developing industry and activating it. He added that the popular belief that all lands are state resources must change and that the actual resources from the development of land are worker employment and tax revenue, not merely the value of the land itself.
He went on to say that land utilization is not the function of the government; rather, its role is limited to providing land at attractive prices. Land development is dependent on developers from the private sector. He mentioned that the ministry is currently cooperating with the Ministry of Housing in order to change the system of distribution, specification, and pricing of industrial land in order to facilitate investments and guarantee the provision of more land.
In response to questions about developments to the tax code, the minister said that there are ideas being discussed within the cabinet, suggested by the Ministry of Finance, to transform the sales tax into a value-added tax applied to all factories.
He indicated that there will be a meeting next week with the Federation of Industries to discuss this file along with the increase of the top tier of the progressive tax from 25 percent to 28 percent. He affirmed that the increase would not have any effects on dividends or individuals.
Translated from AlBorsa Daily http://goo.gl/sFjBWB