Hossam Haiba, CEO of the General Authority for Investment and Freezones (GAFI), confirmed that the net value of foreign direct investment attracted in 2022 amounted to $8.9bn, which is the highest number achieved since 2011.
Heiba added that the government aims to attract ten billion dollars by the end of this year.
This came during a meeting with the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo on Monday.
GAFI CEO indicated that the foreign exchange flows that entered Egypt during 2022 amounted to about $14bn, but the market was affected by the exit of a large amount of them at the end of the year.
Heiba clarified that the economic crisis Egypt is facing is an emergency problem as a result of large foreign exchange inflows during the past year, and does not reflect a permanent problem related to economic policies.
He said that such problems occur and are repeated in many countries of the world and that the government has full confidence in the possibility of solving them.
GAFI CEO confirmed that he had put his finger on the real investment problems facing the business climate in Egypt.
He discovered that the sectors responsible for investment operate on isolated islands.
He revealed that the one window that is supposed to be applied is limited to GAFI, but there are 36 other windows that the investor is forced to pass through outside the Authority.
Heiba added that he is working to remove all obstacles facing the investor because we cannot attract foreign investors unless we attract local investment and solve the problems of existing investments.
He continued, commenting on the lack of benefit from many facilities and incentives, that we still need to introduce the economic community to opportunities, and that this is the responsibility of the government.
Heiba revealed that a number of committees have been established to solve investment problems within the authority and that these committees have already been able to resolve existing disputes since the 1990s.
He added that the authority has adopted an easy system for allocating lands, except for industrial lands that are allocated by the Industrial Development Authority. The rate of land allocation at each meeting ranged from 80 to 100 plots of land.
He said that the element of time is very important in dealing with investment problems, which is emphasized by the administrative infrastructure responsible for the investment system.
The GAFI president emphasized that the best ambassador for promoting investment abroad is the private sector, which prompted the Authority to cooperate constructively with major private institutions to identify challenges facing the investment environment and propose solutions.
He said that the golden license for investment is one of the tools for attracting large and serious capital and that it is obtained within twenty days.
Heiba revealed that there are several promising sectors in the field of attracting major investments, the most important of which is the energy and climate sector, as 23 agreements for new projects were signed during COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh.
The government has also approved a strategy for the auto industry and a plan for the hydrogen sector, and within a few months, a law will be prepared for the sector. A plan to localize the pharmaceutical industry will also be announced before the end of the fiscal year.
The meeting was moderated by Ahmed Abou Ali, Chairperson of the Legal Affairs Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo, and was attended by members of the Chamber, as well as a commercial delegation from the American Chamber of Commerce in Greece representing the largest Greek investment companies currently visiting Egypt.