Chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Industries Galal El Zorba said that the unified investment law is “good”, but the trick is in actually implementing the legislation in order to revive confidence in the economy and capital flow, which can help tackle unemployment.
The investment minister is seeking to bring the ‘one-stop shop’ system into force as a single body granting all licences, but he will face a vicious war with all government authorities, especially with municipalities, as well as with the Industrial Development Authority and other government agencies, according to El Zorba. He added that the ‘one-stop shop’ system is intended to eliminate bureaucracy and improve the business environment.
El Zorba demanded that the law facilitate market entry and exit procedures, in addition to expediting litigation and dispute resolution in manner that preserves the rights of the state and does not inflict harm on serious investors.
Board Member of the Egyptian Exchange Hisham Tawfik said that what has been announced so far from the unified investment law is “acceptable”, but it all comes down to implementation. He added that the ‘one-stop shop’ system is still a dream, as it will clash with all government authorities and municipalities unless the minister gains political support that enhances his situation and allows him to bring the system into force.
As a co-founder of the first company to generate electricity from solar energy, Tawfik added that no new solar energy projects will succeed without this system. The government must enable investment bodies to grant all necessary licences in order to improve the business environment and enhance achievement levels for economic activities, he said.
He believes that other articles that have been announced – regarding protecting investors from nationalisation, guaranteeing exit and entry in dollars, agreeing on a unified mechanism for settling investment disputes, and assigning tax breaks for each job opportunity provided – are “good”, but without the ‘one-stop shop’ system, bureaucracy will kill these measures and slowly hinder licensing procedures.