Press Releases

IFC Helps Streamline Business Procedures in Egypt

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

Cairo, April 8, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Egypt’s Industrial Development Agency today signed a memorandum of understanding to streamline and decentralize the process of obtaining industrial licenses and help reduce the cost and time involved in business start-up procedures. This is the second phase of a project initiated in 2006 to implement business simplification solutions in the country. As part of the initiative, a similar agreement was signed between IFC and the Egyptian Ministry of Housing in March to help simplify building permit systems.

Over the next two years, the project will help create an integrated platform for business start-up procedures at the national level. It will involve the government and the private sector in identifying issues that hinder processes for obtaining licenses and permits.  IFC will help introduce international best practices, replicate pilot reforms at the municipal level, and streamline the approval procedures required by a large number of public entities. In cooperation with the Industrial Development Agency, IFC will help roll out the simplified and decentralized procedure that was developed in Alexandria to one-stop-shops throughout the country that are managed by the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones. IFC will also support operating license reform within the industrial zones and will help develop a new law reflecting best regulatory practices within these zones.

Frank Sader, IFC Senior Operations Manager, said, “In phase one of the project, all partners joined efforts to tackle new reforms for start-up procedures. This yielded positive results: the Industrial Development Agency and the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones cooperated to create a new process in Alexandria for industrial licensing that helped reduce the time for applicants by 42 percent and the cost by 27 percent. Replicating these simplification solutions at the national level and injecting new international best practices in start-up regulations will be the focus of the project’s second phase.”

The project is managed by IFC Advisory Services in the Middle East and North Africa – PEP-MENA 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