The Egyptian Lebanese Businessmen Association (ELBA), headed by Fathallah Fawzi, organized on Tuesday evening a symposium with CEO of General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) Hossam Heiba, to learn about the authority’s plan to encourage investment and listen to demands and vision of private sector to attract foreign and Arab capital.
Chairperson of ELBA Fathallah Fawzi, called the GAFI to speed up solving current economic imbalances to support private sector investments, encourage national, Arab and foreign capital, and prepare a realistic investment map that focuses on market needs while giving importance to the file of localising industry and encouraging everything that can be produced and dispensing with its import. This requires everyone from the private sector, government, bodies, institutions and banks to open a dialogue nationally to draw a comprehensive economic map.
Fawzi said that Lebanon is one of the most important countries investing in Egypt, as it ranks 13th with a value of $1.2bn in various sectors, pointing out that there are about 1,904 Lebanese companies operating in the Egyptian market in fields of finance, industry, service, and real estate.
Vice Chairperson of ELBA Fouad Hodroj highlighted the importance of developing a unified map of requirements of the Egyptian economy and educating the business community about available opportunities and strategy for developing business climate, especially with regard to facilitating and accelerating procedures in establishing companies. In addition to, approving budgets, general assemblies, and others within the framework of activating the idea of the one-stop shop, and working to reconsider all bilateral agreements between Egypt and various countries to increase exports in addition to attracting capital in important markets for Egypt to establish factories that supply needs, transfer technology and settle complementary industries.
Hodroj added, “Global challenges require us to move towards realizing the principle of national, Arab and other capital settlement, in addition to enhancing participation of the private sector in economic development.”
For his part, CEO of GAFI Hossam Heiba said that the first integrated platform will be activated to facilitate procedures for establishing companies in early April.
Heiba explained that the platform includes facilitating all procedures needed by investors related to establishing companies, documenting contracts in Real Estate Registry, and registering with electronic signature, as well as documenting boards of directors and general assemblies in an easy way, in line with the state’s efforts to stimulate business and investment climate.
He noted that a committee was also formed to re-examine procedures and requirements at the level of 67 entities with the aim of activating a one-stop shop system to reduce investment procedures and time for issuing approvals and licenses and allocating lands.
“We are also studying the unification of land allocation bodies and studying procedures to reduce them through a committee that includes heads of Industrial Development Authority, GAFI, New Urban Communities Authority and the Ministry of Local Development, ” he disclosed.
The GAFI is currently working on studying contracts excluded from international arbitration clauses so that they are subject to arbitration by reviewing contracts and protocols in which the government can intervene to avoid problems, Heiba concluded.