CAIRO, October 25, 2016 – Business
reforms in Egypt are starting to have real impact for local entrepreneurs.
According to the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity
for All report, released today. Egypt ranked 122 out of 189 countries
in the latest report, compared to 131 out of 189 last year.
The improvement is due to two reforms
making it easier to do business in Egypt. Starting a business is now easier
as one-stop shops have introduced a follow-up unit to liaise with the tax
and labor authorities on behalf of the entrepreneur. Additionally, there
were enhanced protections for minority investors by strengthening their
role in major corporate decisions. In addition to these reforms, changes
to the Doing Business indicator methodology also resulted in a positive
change for Egypt’s ranking on four indicators: Dealing with Construction
Permits, Getting Electricity, Registering Property and Resolving Insolvency.
"The recent improvement in business
reform activity in Egypt is very encouraging," said Dr. Asad Alam,
the Country Director for the World Bank. "The progress seen in
some indicators needs to be replicated across the board, and the pace can
even be accelerated which would be important for Egypt to support local
entrepreneurs, attract investors and to compete with global leaders in
providing an attractive business climate".
Globally, Egypt performs well on Doing
Business indicators such as Starting a Business and Getting Credit. For
example, it takes about one week for Egyptian entrepreneurs to incorporate
a business, compared to 10 days in Russia and 43 days in South Africa.
In terms of Getting Credit, Egypt is one of only four economies in the
Middle East and North Africa region where credit reporting follows best
“Amid the current economic challenges,
improving the business environment needs to remain a priority on the government's
agenda. This year, the government has worked on addressing some of the
major issues facing investors, yet there is a lot to be done in other significant
areas like contract enforcement, licensing and gender equality” said Mouayed
Makhlouf, IFC Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“Sustainable and continuous business regulatory reform is key to restore
investor confidence, unlock private sector potential and boost overall
economic development in Egypt.”
The Doing Business report indicates
several areas in need of improvement. Egypt ranks near the bottom for example
on the Enforcing Contracts indicator, where it takes almost three years
to resolve a commercial dispute through the local courts. This compares
to less than a year in Russia. On the Trading-Across-Borders indicator,
it takes 240 hours on average to comply with Egypt’s customs regulations
to import goods, compared to 99.4 hours in Indonesia and 144 in South Africa.
This year’s Doing Business report completes
a three-year effort to expand benchmarks that measure the quality of regulation,
as well as efficiency of the business regulatory framework, in order to
better capture realities on the ground. The report also features an expanded
indicator capturing the process of Paying Taxes indicator, which now covers
post-filing processes, such as tax audits and tax refunds. The economies
of the Middle East and North Africa generally perform well in these new
areas. However, Egypt does not yet have a VAT refund mechanism for capital
New this year is the introduction of
a gender dimension in three Doing Business indicators: Starting a Business,
Registering Property and Enforcing Contracts. Seventy percent of
the region’s economies impose more regulatory hurdles for women entrepreneurs
than men. The Middle East and North Africa region could do more to
improve disparities in the business climate for women and men.
The full report and accompanying datasets
are available at http://www.doingbusiness.org/