Minster of Investment Ashraf Salman said his ministry is conducting discussions with other ministries and government agencies to review the majority of legislation regulating economic activity.
Salman said the final say on both the unified investment law and the ‘one-stop shop’ investment window will be in the hands of the Legislative Reform Committee in December.
“Activating the ‘one-stop shop’ investment window to unify the licence authority is still being discussed with all sides, but the initiative is facing difficulties,” Salman added. “My struggle now is to obtain the approval of all state agencies responsible for granting lands so that the General Authority for Investment (GAFI) can become the agent for this process, and will return the value of the land to the authority that owns the plot so as to save time and effort for the investor.”
According to GAFI Chairman Hassan Fahmy, the unified investment law, if passed, will include several laws, including one on incentives and guarantees of investment called law “8”. It will also include Law 159 on economic zones and another on joint stock companies, the goal of which is to unify the direct investment system. Yet another is the law on free, economic, and investment zones, and the goal of the entire legal package is to have one authority be responsible for investment in Egypt, which is expected to be GAFI.
Salman said that the new law will guarantee that investors are protected from nationalisation and that they may enter and exit the market in dollars. The law also specifies a unified mechanism for settling investment disputes, and it will prohibit any regulatory authority from making investments.
The law will also provide an EGP 15,000 tax exemption to investors for every new job created in the form of discounts on government transaction including water, electricity, gas, or other service bills, according to government sources last week.