Explainer: What you need to know about Egypt's golden license

Habiba Hamdy , Saturday 10 Dec 2022

In late 2022, Egypt introduced the golden license, allowing investors to purchase or lease land and oversee projects without requiring approval from various government entities.

Golden license
Golden license. Al-Ahram


The introduction of the golden license aligns with Egypt's 2030 vision to withdraw from certain economic sectors in the medium term and regulate government-private sector relations.

In December, an official website launched a simplified application process for the golden license, and an English version was introduced in May to attract more international investors.

Here is all you need to know about the golden license:

  • The purpose of the golden license is to encourage investment, attract foreign currency, and generate employment opportunities for Egyptians.
  • There are two types of companies that are eligible to apply for the license: those that support sustainable development in line with Egypt's economic plan, and those that create partnerships between private and public entities or state-affiliated organizations.
  • The second type includes projects related to public utilities and infrastructure, renewable energy, transportation, communication, and information technology.
  • To obtain the license, applicants must show that they have sufficient financial liquidity.
  • The application process was made more efficient by launching an official website in December, which was later made accessible to international investors through an English version introduced in May.
  • The website offers up-to-date information on economic indicators, cabinet news, and government meetings to assist applicants with relevant information.
  • Applications that meet the requirements are approved within 10 days, and licenses are granted within 20 days after receiving approval from the Prime Minister.
  • Investors are incentivized by the government, with benefits such as a 50 percent refund on the land value allocated for industrial projects, provided that production starts within two years of authorization.
  • Egypt also provides a deduction of 30-50 percent on taxable profits.
  • Foreign investors are permitted to be included in the Importers Record for up to 10 years, a privilege that is normally exclusive to Egyptian citizens under Importers Record 121/1982 and its revisions.
  • During their setup period, foreign investors receive a one-year temporary non-tourist visa.
  • Moreover, a total of 14 service centers were established throughout Egypt's governorates to cater to investors and a single window system for services was implemented.
  • Since its launch, the golden license has been granted to 15 applicants.
  • As part of Egypt's Investment Law 20/2017, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi directed and launched it in late September.
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