The General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) is considering establishing a financial service center in the financial and business district of the New Administrative Capital, in partnership with an Emirati-South African alliance. The center will be similar to the Cyprus experience, where foreign companies can operate inside Egypt with special legislation and incentives, such as customs exemptions and 10-year renewals. The center will target activities such as insurance, investment funds, financial consulting, holding and family companies, and tourism companies.
This was announced by Hossam Heiba, the CEO of GAFI, during a meeting with members of the Egyptian Lebanese Businessmen Association. He said that the authority is also planning to set up two more financial service centers in New Alamein and the Red Sea, as part of its strategy to create a business climate and attract investors.
Heiba said that the foreign direct investments (FDIs) in Egypt are expected to grow by 10% by the end of the fiscal year (FY) 2023, compared to the last FY 2022. He said that Egypt is the top destination for FDIs in Africa and the second in the Middle East, after the UAE. He cited data from the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, which showed that the FY 2021/2022 witnessed the largest increase in FDIs flows to Egypt, reaching about $8.9bn, a rise of 71.4%.
Heiba said that the authority has noticed great interest from many foreign countries in obtaining lands and allocating industrial zones. He said that the authority has allocated 4.5 million sqm in the past six months. He also said that the authority has addressed the problems of six priority sectors, namely food industries, real estate development, medicines, and cement. He said that the authority has classified the problems into general and specific ones, and has summoned all the relevant authorities to solve them.
Heiba said that one of the goals of the authority is to reduce the release time of goods at ports from 147 days to 14 days. He also said that the authority is working to end the problem of drug pricing and that the Egyptian Drug Authority is seeking to change the drug pricing map to help factories export. He also said that an integrated tax system is being developed, which will be announced and implemented next November.