Egypt's parliament on Tuesday provisionally approved a landmark law aimed at reforming the role of the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), a government body which will be tasked with boosting development in the country's industrial sector.
A report prepared by parliament’s industrial committee said the 37-article law will turn the IDA into an independent economic authority which "will work in coordination with the Ministries of Industry and Trade in boosting investments in the industrial sector."
“This will come through regulating industrial activities, preparing lands necessary for industrial projects, and helping investors get industrial licenses in a significantly easier way,” said the report.
According to the 41-page report, the authority will also "collaborate with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research for upgrading the technological abilities of employees and trainers in the industrial sector in order to better deal with foreign investors."
The predecessor to the authority was "first regulated by a law issued in 1958 which reflected the country’s socialist policies at that time,” said the report, adding: “But with the coming of a new era of open-door policies it was necessary to amend the 1958 law to reflect the new economic developments.”
The current IDA was first created by a presidential decree in 2005 to help implement Egypt’s new liberalization and privatization policies which began in the mid-1990s, the report notes.
Tuesday's law comes after parliament has passed a number of laws that seek to enhance economic development and rid the country of old socialist policies.
“These include laws on regulating bankruptcy activities, facilitating investment measures, and unifying industrial licenses,” it has said.
Parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal told MPs that the final approval of the law awaits a two-thirds majority of MPs.