The investment community and business organizations attach high hopes to the new investment law to facilitate investment and attract local and foreign direct investment, especially in light of the challenges that hit the Egyptian economy over the past years. In order to get to know the advantages and incentives of this new law, and its role in enhancing the Egyptian Investment sector; Canada Egypt business council and the Egyptian council for sustainable development organized event with Mr. Mohamed Hany Khodeir Chairman of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones to discuss the Challenges and opportunities of the New Investment Law.
In the opening remarks, Eng. Motaz Raslan welcomed the attendees and the guests, then he started his speech mentioning that when we start having a deeper look at the countries who have made progress ... and have taken a prominent place on the map of the world’s economy, we find that they started with a revolution in the investment laws, and worked to provide incentives to attract foreign investment and remove all obstacles that decelerate them. For example, countries like Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and Brazil all of which had a wonderful experience that gives us hope that the path of the economic tigers is possible, but it only requires specified vision and creating an investment environment especially in light of the availability and the potential of investment opportunities.
Unfortunately, Egypt in the past years has been falling behind in the rate of promoting new investment opportunities and was unable to catch up with the developed countries; due to not giving the investment sector the attention it deserves, and the accumulation of this for many years has raised bureaucracy, created conflicting legislation and administrative corruption. This was reflected in the decline of the investment movement in the past years.
The Bio of Mr. Mohamed Hany Khodeir was stated, thanking him for accepting the invitation to discuss the New Investment Law, its most important advantages and the guarantees and incentives that will be offered to the investors, also how will the law succeed in restoring the confidence of the foreign investors, and the most important challenges of the law.
General of the Authority for Investment and Free Zones Mohamed Hany Khodeir who had previously worked with government agencies, managed and implemented trans-border international transactions, in addition to legal consultancy work over 17 years in four countries, including Egypt and the UAE and valuing transactions and projects which include more than 50 billion US dollars; began his speech stating that the authority during planning their strategies and future visions communicates with all the investors community, as they might have certain estimation and judgment, and in order to ensure their satisfaction. He had announced that the computerized services system will be inaugurated in the Investment Authority by the following month, after 8 months of work in coordination with the Ministry of Communications. He said that the system will first be implemented in the Authority and then in the rest of the branches to facilitate the procedures to the investors, so that anyone who wants to start a business will not need to come at 5 am. The system is the first to be established, followed by the post-establishment stage and the privatization and licensing stage.
General Khodeir added that the law is keen to facilitate the procedures of the exit of the investor and also through the bankruptcy law, noting that the law is clear in the commitment to contracts; mainly, pointing out that the ministry is currently working on the investment map. He stressed that the State Council's observations on the law have been discussed, and every detail has been taken into account, particularly with regard to the issue of the unconstitutionality of certain articles, pointing out that the state authorities will retain their lands but the investment authority will grant them the value of the lands only if they invest in them.
Counselor Adly Hussein, the former governor of Qalyubia called for issuing a comprehensive unified law unified for the investor to avoid the rotation on various institutions and procedures, he also called for the establishment of clear mechanisms to respect the contracts and identify the parties and the timing of the conflict, stressing that it is also important that the investor can easily transfer profits abroad.
The floor was opened for questions and answers session, concluding that the achievement of sustainable economic development cannot be achieved without an environment conducive to investment, an environment characterized by transparency, facilitating procedures and fighting bureaucracy; that gives the investor reassurance and offers him a lot of incentives which is what the government is engaging in at the current time.