The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have announced that Egypt has jumped eight ranks in the Doing Business 2019 report, presented under the theme “Training for Reform”.
The report monitored Egypt’s reforms to improve the investment climate and streamline procedures in five areas, namely the “establishment of companies, access to credit, the protection of small investors, the payment of taxes and the settlement of insolvency cases”, to help create jobs opportunities, attract investment, and improve the competitiveness of the economy.
The report mentioned that the implemented reforms were the largest in Egypt in one year over the last decade, and the second largest number of reforms implemented by a MENA country in 2018. Egypt also had the largest number of reforms in 2018, compared to other Arab countries, said the report.
The report said that Egypt increased the ability of projects to obtain financing by issuing the Movable Safeguards Law, which allows for first-time companies to obtain financing by guarantee of movables. Egypt also enhanced the protection of small investors through amendments to the Companies Law and its executive regulations, it added.
Starting business projects in Egypt has been facilitated by abolishing the requirement of obtaining a bank certificate, and establishing the one-window system to complete required procedures in 11 days instead of 16 days, it said.
Egypt facilitated access to credit by strengthening the rights of borrowers and lenders. It also strengthened the rights of the minority shareholders by obligating companies to increase transparency, and conducting tax reforms, according to the report.
Egypt facilitated the settlement of insolvency by applying a reorganization mechanism for insolvent companies, allowing debtors to initiate reorganization proceedings, and granting creditors greater participation in the proceedings, the report mentioned.
Egypt has performed well in the area of building permits. The cost of completing all the procedures required to obtain a license to construct a warehouse is only 1.6 percent of the warehouse value, compared to an average of 4.7 percent in other Middle East and North Africa countries, the report said.
Egypt advanced 30 ranks on the 2019 credit index, ranking 60 instead of 90 in the 2018 report, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr said.
Egypt’s position on the insolvency settlement index improved by 14 ranks, from 115 in 2018 to 101 in this year’s report.
Egypt advanced on the small investor protection index by nine ranks, ranking 72 in 2019 instead of 81 in 2018’s report.
Egypt’s ranking on the tax payment index rose to the 159th place, compared to 167th in the 2018 report, advancing by eight ranks.
Egypt’s position on the cross-border trade index improved by one position to 170, instead of 171 in 2018’s report.
The report monitors the reform measures implemented until April 2018, said Nasr, expecting more reforms to positively affect Egypt’s position in next year’s report.
“The remarkable acceleration in the pace of reform of business processes in Egypt is a sign of optimism for the country’s commitment to entrepreneurship and empowering private sector institutions,” acting World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti Samia Msadek said.
“We look forward to continued efforts in order to adopt fair, transparent and efficient regulatory practices to stimulate private sector-led job creation efforts,” Msadek added.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm