The government is deciding between enacting a new unified investment law or issuing amendments to existing legislations to remove obstacles to investing, said Investment Minister Ashraf Salman.
“I’m currently working in two directions,” Salman told Daily News Egypt. “The first is toward preparing the unified investment law, and the second is amending existing laws that pertain to investments, trade and corporations.”
On the sidelines of a press conference held Thursday, Salman added that the amendments prepared included six terms. The priority of these is to bring a ‘one-stop shop’ system into force, in a move to unite all procedures and licensing processes under the law.
Salman said the amendments will facilitate the entry and exit of investors’ capital in dollars and establish equality between investors. These amendments would ensure there is no preferential treatment for Egyptian investors or for one type of nationality over another.
He went on to add that the amendments will ensure investors are not criminally prosecuted for committing administrative or procedural errors, which would require amendments to the Criminal Code.
Salman said the most important item currently being worked on, is the facilitation of bankruptcy and liquidation processes. There are also amendments that will be enacted to the trade law, for the processes will take only 60 days.
Amendments must be made to the Companies Act, to allow for the establishment of one-person companies, which is present globally, Salman said.
The sixth point to be amended to improve the investment climate is to prevent conflicts of interest by prohibiting regulatory agencies from investing, according to Salman.
The Ministry of Investment is working to prepare either a unified investment law or enact amendments to existing investment and trade legislations.
Consultations are underway with other agencies including the Ministry of Industry, the legislation department of the State Council, and the Ministry of Justice. These consultations will affect the final decision of either enacting a new law or amending current legislation. It is more likely, however, that the consultations will lead to the latter taking place in light of relevant bodies’ opinions on the matter, said Salman.
After preparing the unified investment law and amendments to the current draft, the legislation will be sent to relevant parties who will express their opinions and decide to either enact a new law or amend current laws, according to Salman.
The government hopes to attract direct foreign investments amounting to $10bn during fiscal year (FY) 2014/2015.
The government also hopes to improve the business climate in order to attract private sector investments to achieve target rates of 3.5% during (FY) 2014/2015, according to Salman.
In the FY 2014/2015 budget, the government seeks to attract investments worth EGP 337bn, with about EGP 280bn originating from the private sector and the rest from government investments.