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IFC Promotes Knowledge Sharing for a Favorable Business Environment in Egypt


In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +20 2 2 461 9150, ext. 306
E-mail: rmustafa@ifc.org


Cairo, July 10, 2007—IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, recently organized an official visit to Portugal for a delegation of Egypt’s General Authority for Investment and Free Zones and the Industrial Development Authority to learn about Portugal’s business registration and industrial licensing systems. The goal was to share knowledge about Portugal’s experience in streamlining and simplifying procedures and thus help create a more favorable business environment in Egypt.

IFC chose Portugal because it is one of the world’s top reformers in the areas of business registration and industrial licensing simplification, making it an excellent choice for this initiative.  The delegation met with officials from eight Portuguese authorities and agencies at the provincial and municipal levels to learn about their experiences and determine how these could benefit Egypt. This initiative was organized by IFC Advisory Services in the Middle East and North Africa – PEP-MENA.

Mário Lobo, Director General for Economic Activities for Portugal’s Ministry of Economy and Innovation, said, “This is a great opportunity for both Egypt and Portugal to share experiences in creating a better environment for investors. Reforming Portugal’s licensing regimes is a dynamic process, and we are happy to share our knowledge with such advanced institutions as the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones and the Industrial Development Authority.”

Thomas Moullier, IFC PEP-MENA Program Manager, said, “The members of the delegation are now tasked with completing a plan to accelerate reforms of business start-up procedures in Egypt. The timing for this learning experience is excellent. The General Authority for Investment and Free Zones and the Industrial Development Authority are already working together to reduce the time for getting an industrial license by 50 percent. The government is also developing a set of business laws to help improve the country’s business environment.”
 
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing capital in the international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY06, IFC committed $8.3 billion, including syndications, to 284 investments in 66 developing countries. For more information, please visit www.ifc.org.