Newly Formed Investment Council To Enhance Egypt’s FDI Attractiveness

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued on Thursday decree No. 141/2023 to form the Supreme Council for Investment.

The Council shall be formed and headed by the President of the republic, with the membership of Prime Minister, Governor of Central Bank, and Ministers of Defence and Military Production, Justice, Planning and Economic Development, International Cooperation, Finance, Interior, Communications and Information Technology, Local Development, Public Enterprises Sector, and Trade and Industry. Other members include the Head of General Intelligence, Chairperson of Administrative Control Authority, Chairperson of Egyptian Exchange, Chairperson of the Suez Canal Economic Zone, CEO of General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, CEO of the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, Chairperson of Federation of Egyptian Industries, and Chairperson of Egyptian Federation for Investors Associations and Institutions.

The council aims to create a better investment climate and to provide guidance and support to achieve that. It will also create the general framework for legislative and administrative reforms in the investment environment, approve policies and investment plans that determine the priority investment projects in line with the country’s public policy, economic and social development plans and applicable investment systems.

Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait said that the Egyptian government is mobilising all its energies to create a more stimulating environment for production and export, to make optimal use of its strong infrastructure and promising economic sectors with preferential benefits, added that these stimulating measures and initiatives, including the formation of a Supreme Council for Investment to attract more investments.

For his part, Head of the Building Materials Division at the Federation of Industries Ahmed Abdel Hamid said that the Supreme Council for Investment is an important step and at an appropriate time to start reforming the economic sector, especially in industry and agriculture, the development wings of any advanced economy in the world.

Abdel Hamid added, “Monetary and exchange rate policies alone are not sufficient and are not beneficial, and therefore an urgent economic policy package that is completely far from the prescription of the International Monetary Fund is necessary. Besides, industries must be provided by all they need of gas and petroleum materials at competitive prices, while removing all obstacles facing industry, as industrial and agricultural sectors are the most important source of hard currency.”

Ahmed El-Shennawy, member of the Board of Directors of Egyptian Real Estate Council, and Deputy Chairperson of Sustainable Development Committee at the Egyptian Businessmen’s Association stated that the decree to form the Supreme Council for Investment enhances Egypt’s attractiveness and business climate for investment and investors.

El-Shennawy said that there are important messages for the strong formation of the council under the leadership of President El-Sisi and the membership of all ministries and agencies concerned with investment to issue required decisions quickly. Furthermore, real and effective endeavor to solve problems and remove investment obstacles, but to achieve its goals, integration and participation in forming the council between the government and businessmen. Therefore, the council should include civil society and the private sector to present all obstacles and challenges with different points of view to reach a clear, specific and implementable vision, especially in light of the current economic conditions and the terrible and rapid price increases.

He elaborated that the state must develop strategic plans based on unconventional and out-of-the-box ideas to get out of the current crisis through encouraging mechanisms to attract local and foreign investments, provide, and exploit all investment opportunities such as high foreign exchange rates. Nevertheless, all obstacles and challenges must be removed by providing a safe and stable investment environment and more flexible legislation and laws in order to increase production.

Mohamed Attia Al-Fayoumi, Treasurer of the General Federation of Chambers of Commerce and President of Qalyubia Chamber of Commerce commented that the council is a very important and timely step because it will contribute to eliminating obstacles facing investment operations, especially bureaucracy in various concerned authorities and ministries. In addition, it will have a major role in coordinating policies between these various agencies and preventing conflicts in their businesses, which is in the interest of investment and economic climate in general.

Al-Fayoumi said that the formation of the Supreme Council will ensure the speedy implementation of required economic reform plans in light of successive political and economic turmoil the whole world is witnessing, which greatly affected the comprehensive economic development plan in Egypt, like the rest of the world.

The existence of this authority, represented in the Supreme Council for Investment, under direct leadership of President El-Sisi, will lead to deliberate and effective decisions, and obligate all parties to implement them, which contributes to attracting more foreign investments, and evidence that the state is serious about a solution for problems of investors and overcoming the obstacles facing them. Furthermore, the council aims to expand the volume of participation between public and private sectors, and a clear and direct message to foreign investors, that the state is determined to change the investment climate and provide opportunities for all, according to Al-Fayoumi.

He called on the Supreme Council for Investment, with its new formation, to quickly issue laws and decisions that would purify the investment climate in Egypt, overcome current challenges at the local and global levels, encourage industry and production, and issue urgent laws and decisions that ease burdens on manufacturers and encourage investment.