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