Egypt’s cabinet passes regulations for new investment law

Investment Minister Sahar Nasr talks during an interview with Reuters in Cairo, on June 21, 2017.

:: Egypt’s cabinet passed regulations on Thursday for a new investment law aimed at attracting foreign investors to help the economy recover after a 2011 uprising.

Investment Minister Sahar Nasr said the law will now be passed to Egypt’s administrative court, the state council, which is expected to give a final legal review before the law enters into force.

The law aims to cut bureaucracy, especially for starting projects, and provide more incentives to investors looking to put money into Egypt.

Egypt’s economy has been struggling since the 2011 uprising drove tourists and foreign investors away, drying up foreign currency. Egypt signed a $12 billion International Monetary Fund program last year aimed at reviving the economy.

New incentives

New incentives under the investment law include a 50 percent tax discount on investments made in underdeveloped areas, and government support for the cost of connecting utilities to new projects.

Under the law, investors can recoup half of what they pay to acquire land for industrial projects if production begins within two years.

It also restores private-sector free zones – areas exempt from taxes and customs – a policy that had held up the law’s passage because of objections to forfeiting tax revenues at a time of austerity.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ratified the long-delayed investment law in June.

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