Press Releases

IFC Helps Streamline Business Start-up Procedures in Egypt

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +202 24 619 140
Fax: +202 24 619 145

Cairo, Egypt, June 23, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Egypt’s General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) today signed a memorandum of understanding to help the government attract more investments in Egypt and streamline business registration and licensing through a range of targeted reforms.

Over the next year, this project will help create an integrated platform for business start-up procedures at the national level. It will engage the government and the private sector in identifying and resolving issues that hinder processes for obtaining licenses and permits. IFC will share international best practices to help GAFI refine registration and licensing services through one-stop shops.

The project is part of a broader initiative launched in Egypt in 2006 to implement business simplification solutions. Since then, IFC has partnered with the Egyptian Ministry of Housing to help simplify building permit systems and with the Industrial Development Authority to streamline land allocation and industrial licensing.

Frank Sader, IFC Senior Operations Manager, said, “We are excited to build on our partnership with the Egyptian government. This will help strengthen the investment climate and increase incomes and employment opportunities through a dynamic and competitive private sector.”

GAFI’s ongoing commitment to business simplification is starting to show results, and the government’s reform efforts are increasingly being recognized. The IFC-World Bank Doing Business 2008 report names Egypt as the world’s top reformer, moving up 39 places in the aggregate ranking and 71 places on the ease of starting a business. Another success is strong collaboration among various local authorities.

This initiative is managed by IFC Advisory Services in the Middle East and North Africa and cofinanced through a grant from the Swiss government.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit