The Egyptian Junior Business Association (EJB) has announced its opinion regarding the investment law drafted by the Ministry of Investment to explain its perspective and respond regarding the most important points of the economic legislation which the government will be working on during the upcoming period.
The association has requested, in a statement published on 9 December, that another group of laws be issued to amend the proposal for the new law prior to the economic summit in March 2015.
Chairman of the economic legislation committee of the EJB Gamal Abou Ali stated that the government must work on the investment law in accordance with the proposed draft amendments. These were divided into two parts; the first of which pertains to issuing a number of laws and the second entails following-up on procedures.
He affirmed that the most important laws have to do with granting incentives for small projects that are not officially registered in order to encourage them to engage with the official industrial and commercial sectors. He claimed that this will serve to protect public consumers, extend state supervision over the quality of products and services, increase financial resources for the state, and reduce unemployment.
The possibility of issuing legislation which permits the establishment of a one-person business will be looked into, said Abou Ali. He added that the state previously announced a law for establishing one-person companies which can be restated to be in line with other countries, to support entrepreneurship, as well as renewing investment laws to keep pace with the international laws in terms of facilitating the creation of companies and branches of various forms, as well as entry and exit of shareholders and partners, issuing shares with different types and advantages, and ease of closure for activities or companies and restructuring.
The chairman also confirmed that a mediation law, for which the Ministry of Justice has prepared a draft, must also be quickly issued. This law would help activate the role of the Investment Disputes Resolutions Committee of the General Authority for Free Zones and Investment (GAFI), claimed Abou Ali, due to the importance of effective and quick settlements disputes which encourage investors to increase investments.
He added that it is important to reconsider investment incentives through facilitated tax and customs procedures in light of current changes, as well as expanded investment incentives for the poor areas which are far from urbanisation in Upper Egypt and the Sinai in order to encourage investment and create job opportunities.
According to Abou Ali, incentives must be granted to companies working in the energy generation or conservation and agricultural sectors, and bankruptcy legislation should be restructured in order to create a balance to guarantee creditors’ rights and companies’ abilities to continue their work. Abou Ali believes that the land licensing system for investors should be reconsidered as well.
On another note, Abou Ali stated that old laws require various procedures in order to be fully implemented, at the forefront of which is obtaining licences required to practice commercial, industrial, and touristic activities, unifying the entities that the investor deals with, facilitating approval procedures for the board of directors minutes and general assemblies of companies, reconsidering the authority of administrative bodies, and facilitating procedures for increasing a company’s capital. Technology and the internet must be utilised in order to create companies, adopt notes, submit requests, and issue certificates, he said.