Cairo, Egypt, September 14, 2009—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and Switzerland’s State Secretariat
for Economic Affairs are helping the Egyptian government simplify business
start-up regulations and develop more integrated and transparent procedures
to increase investments and job opportunities.
IFC partnered with SECO in 2008 to implement
the Business Start-up Simplification Project, which entails working with
Egypt’s General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, the Industrial
Development Authority, and the Agency for the Technical Inspection of Buildings.
The project, financed by a $505,000 grant from the Swiss government, aims
to reduce by one third the total time needed for business registration,
industrial licensing, and building permits.
IFC and the Egyptian government are working
to reduce industrial land allocation and project approval procedures by
40 percent by end of 2009. The project also is implementing streamlined
building permit procedures that recently became law.
“We are glad the project has yielded positive
results and supports Egypt’s economic growth, and we are optimistic that
it will aid decentralization procedures at a national level,” said Dennis
Knobel Chargé d'Affaires, Embassy
Frank Sader, IFC Senior Operations Manager,
said, “The project is helping create an environment where consolidated,
simplified processes can be applied throughout the country, thus strengthening
the investment climate and generating more job opportunities.”
Since 2006, IFC has been working with the
Egyptian government and private sector to identify and resolve issues that
hinder obtaining licenses and permits. Last April, the government abolished
the minimum capital required to start a business.
IFC also has supported the Alexandria Business
Association in launching the first Egyptian business index developed by
the private sector. The index, named “Islah,” which means reform, was
released in May 2009. It is meant to promote a sustained government-private
sector dialogue on business environment reforms.
The Egyptian government’s ongoing commitment
to business simplification was reflected in Egypt’s rating among the top-ten
reformers in the World Bank Group’s Doing Business reports over
the past few years.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $15
billion in fiscal 2009, helping play a prominent role in addressing the
financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.