Egypt's Sisi ratifies new investment law

Ahram Online , Friday 2 Jun 2017

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (photo: Egyptian presidential spokesperson Facebook page)

Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ratified a long-awaited investment law that grants investors a number of incentives including tax breaks, state news agency MENA reported late on Thursday.

The law was drafted by the cabinet in 2015 with the aim of cutting red tape and attracting foreign investment. It was passed by the parliament in March.

The decree signing the bill into law was published in the Egyptian gazette, making it effective as of the following day.

The new legislation is expected to boost much-needed investment by cutting down on bureaucratic requirements, especially for new projects.

The new investment law includes a raft of new incentives, such as a 50 percent tax break on investments made in underdeveloped areas and government support for the cost of connecting utilities to new projects.

The legislation brings back private sector free zones, which are exempted from taxes and customs. It will offers 50 percent rebate to investors on cost of purchasing land for industrial projects if production begins within two years.

Egypt's direct foreign investment jumped 39 percent in the first half of the current fiscal year, ending in June, to reach $4.3 billion.

Last November, Egypt allowed its exchange rate to float freely and secured a three-year $12 billion loan programme from the International Monetary Fund, in a bid rejuvenate an economy suffering since the 2011 uprising which drove away investors and tourists.

Egypt has received the first installment of the loan, with finance minister Amr Al-Garhy saying last month that the second tranche is expected to be disbursed in the second half of June.

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