Tax-free car import initiative for expats attracts over 450k payment orders worth $1.6bn: Emigration Minister

Daily News Egypt
6 Min Read

Soha Gendi, Minister of State for Emigration and Egyptian Expatriates’ Affairs, announced that the tax-free car import initiative for expats has received an unprecedented demand. She said that 457,223 citizens have registered on the platform and 450,409 payment orders have been issued, with a total value of about $1.6bn. She added that the actual transfers have reached about $700m so far and the initiative will remain in effect until the end of next April.

Gendi explained that the Ministry launched this initiative in response to the continuous requests of Egyptians abroad over the years. She revealed that Law No. 161 of 2022 was issued to grant some facilities to Egyptians residing abroad and exempt them from all customs, taxes, and fees on their cars, in exchange for a USD deposit for five years that can be redeemed in full in Egyptian pounds at the exchange rate on the day of redemption.

She made these remarks during a speech at a conference, where she reviewed the ministry’s work strategy, which included connecting Egyptians abroad with the efforts of the Egyptian state for sustainable development.

Gendi emphasized that the Ministry of Immigration values the importance of effective and continuous communication with Egyptian communities and investors abroad, and strives to solve their problems, address their demands and proposals, and remove all obstacles facing them, as a main goal that the Ministry pursues.

She also stressed that the participation of Egyptians abroad in supporting the Egyptian economy is vital, as dollar transfers from Egyptians abroad are one of the most important sources of hard currency income for the country. She pointed out that dollar transfers to Egypt reached their highest levels in the year 2021/2022, recording $31.9bn, but decreased in 2022/2023, recording $22.1bn.

She attributed this decline to several reasons, such as the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic in the world and the resulting closure of many companies and organizations, the layoff of Egyptian employees and workers abroad, the currency exchange rate, and the prevalence of the USD black market, the Russian-Ukrainian war, the supply chain crisis, high global inflation rates, high-interest rates, oil price volatility, etc.

The Minister said that despite all these challenges, Egypt’s ranking on the list of the largest countries receiving remittances from its citizens abroad has risen from sixth place to fifth place in the world, based on World Bank estimates, after India, Mexico, China, and the Philippines.

She added that the Ministry, in cooperation and coordination with all ministries and agencies in the country, has proposed alternative ways to increase dollar transfers from Egyptians abroad by launching several important initiatives aimed at meeting the demands of Egyptians abroad and helping them overcome the difficulties they face.

She said that one of these initiatives was to cooperate with the CBE and national banks to issue dollar certificates with a high competitive return and encourage the opening of dollar accounts. She noted that the interest rate on dollar certificates was raised to 7% and 9%, which is the highest return on the dollar in the world.

Gendi highlighted the ministry’s success in coordinating and cooperating with the relevant authorities and a group of major Egyptian investors abroad to establish and launch a joint-stock company for investments by Egyptians abroad. She said that the company aims to attract investments from Egyptians abroad in various economic sectors, such as industry, agriculture, tourism, construction, and information technology.

Gendi also said that there is close cooperation with the Ministry of Housing to launch a complementary phase to the eighth phase of the Beit Al Watan project to meet the requests of Egyptians abroad.

Gendi also revealed that the first pension document in USD was launched for Egyptians abroad, called “Your pension in dollars”, which provides insurance protection and cumulative savings in foreign currency for Egyptians abroad.

Gendi also confirmed that the conscription settlement initiative for Egyptians abroad has been launched and will continue for two months until 14 October 2023, in exchange for the payment of $5,000 or €5,000. She added that the Ministry of Civil Aviation is also offering family airline tickets at a discount of up to 33% for the wives and children of Egyptians abroad, compared to payment in dollars.

Gendi also said that a joint committee of several parties is working to issue the incentives application established by a decision of the Cabinet, under the name of the Portal for Egyptian Workers Abroad, which is affiliated with the Cabinet.

Gendi also explained that the Ministry of Immigration is working to launch the electronic application for incentives and services for Egyptians abroad, in cooperation with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. She said that the electronic application will include all the investment incentives and benefits that are offered to Egyptians abroad.

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