Egyptian parliament speaker discusses economic reform moves with World Bank head

Gamal Essam El-Din , Saturday 4 May 2019

David Malpass said that Egypt has promising economic opportunities in industry, agriculture and education

Egyptian parliament

The speaker of Egypt’s parliament Ali Abdel-Aal held a meeting with the head of the World Bank Group David Malpass in Cairo on Saturday.

"The speaker praised the current distinguished relationship between Egypt and the World Bank, and the efforts of Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr for its role in pushing cooperation between Egypt and the World Bank to a very prestigious level," said a statement from Abdel-Aal’s office.

The statement said the speaker had gave Malpass an overview of the performance of Egypt's parliament – the House of Representatives – in terms of its make-up and roles.

"The House comprises 596 MPs representing different political forces, not to mention that it includes the biggest number of female deputies (90 women) and Copts (39 MPs) and nine representing the physically challenged and expatriates," said the speaker, adding that "parliament began its first legislative season on 10 January 2016, and following the two revolutions of 25 January 2011 and 30 June 2013."

"This parliament came at a very critical stage of Egypt's history, shouldering the burden of issuing new laws translating economic and fiscal reforms into facts on the ground, a fact which led to a marked improvement in economic growth rates," said Abdel-Aal.

Abdel-Aal also spoke about the economic reform laws that have been passed since 2016.

"We cooperated with the government to issue laws on investment, bankruptcy procedures, bidding and tender procedures, the stock market, and legislation on companies and the one-person company," he said, arguing that "all of these laws send a very positive message to foreign investors, encouraging them to inject more investments into the local market."

"These laws help secure high levels of transparency, abolish all forms of discrimination in the labour market, give priority to micro and small-scale enterprises, and help young people tap the market and set up their own projects."

Abdel-Aal indicated that parliament is currently working on laws that aim to achieve "financial inclusion" and is keen that all of these laws observe social dimensions.

Malpass, who took over as president of the World Bank Group on 5 April and is on a two-day visit to Egypt, said that the two laws issued in Egypt on investment and regulating industrial licences are the most important investment-friendly laws passed in recent years.

"Egypt decided to meet the challenge of modernising its economy, and as a result the World Bank will be always keen to support projects in Egypt," said Malpass according to the statement, adding that "Egypt has a lot of good opportunities in the coming period to achieve success in the area of digital economy."

"In addition to promising opportunities here in the two areas of industry and agriculture, we are also working to upgrade education in Egypt," said Malpass, praising the policy of encouraging a number of high-profile international universities to set up branches in Egypt.

He also praised the Investor Service Center at the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation which he visited earlier on Saturday, which aims to facilitate the setting up of companies and projects in the country.

Malpass also stressed the importance of transparency and good governance in attracting investment to Egypt.



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