Investment Opportunities in Egypt

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Protection of Foreign Investment

Bilateral Investment Conventions Signed By Egypt
Egypt signed bilateral agreements with more that a hundred countries, including most of the European Union countries, the United States and several African countries, the Middle-East and Asia.  On the Mediteranean Basin, Egypt has signed bilateral conventions with Algeria, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Libya, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Tunisia and Turkey.  These conventions can be referred to on the UNCTAD website.
International Controversies Registered By UNCTAD
Consult the Doing Business in Egypt's Guide.
Member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
Egypt is a signatory of the MIGA Convention.

Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Egypt Middle East & North Africa United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 8.0 6.3 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 3.0 4.6 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 5.0 3.4 9.0 5.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 5.3 4.8 8.3 5.0

Source: Doing Business

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
In theory, it is guaranteed (except for setting up in Sinai or the military domain). In practice, foreign companies can face some discriminations compared to their competitors from the Egyptian public sector. Their main difficulty is to obtain local bank credit which is still highly state-controlled.
Acquisition of Holdings
The acquisition of the majority interest in a domestic company is allowed in Egypt. In fact, holding more than 49% of the capital of a local bank is authorized since law 97/1996.
Obligation to Declare
The investor has to provide the following information: the name of the contracting parties, the company's legal form, the name of the company, the type of activity, the length of existance of the company and its capital, the  Egyptian and non-Egyptian contribution percentage, the means of subscription and each partner's liabilities.  For more information, you can consult the GAFI investment guide.
Competent Organization For the Declaration
Requests For Specific Authorizations
The founders of joint stock and limited liability companies must furnish a bank certificate showing that 10% of the issued capital has been paid up.
Find Investment Service Providers in Egypt on

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Investment Aid

Forms of Aid
A number of sectors and industries benefit from the government’s incentives and guarantees, such as zero tax over the lifetime of a project. For more information, you can consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Privileged Domains
The most privileged domain is the petroleum sector. But the Egyptian Government has recently lauched a plan to offer investment incentives and guarantees in non-traditional fields such as education, agriculture and land reclamation as well as PPP projects in water and sewage projects. For more information, you can consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Free Zones
There are investment zones in different regions of the country, as well as free zones and special economic zones.
Organizations Which Finance
You can consult the Ministry of Investment, the National Bank of Egypt and the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones.

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Investment Opportunities

The Key Sectors of the National Economy
Since 2004, the Egyptian government promotes foreign direct investments, the results of this campaign are rather modest.  The taxation and customs red-tape, as well as the rigidity of the labor law causes FDI to come only from big multinational companies.  In order to re-establish foreign investor confidence, parliament has recently adopted laws on the promotion of exports in free-trade zones.  The intellectual property sector is also benefitting from incentive mesures.  Additionally, the Ministry of Investment offers investment opportunities online.

The Egyptian communications and informations sector enjoys the highest growth rate in the world.  Significant needs in marketing, consulting and surveying and modeling go together with the current policy of major construction work.

The need for investments can be felt in several sectors; the textile and clothing sectors and more precisely weaving, remain very traditional and very governement assisted.  Other sectors also requiring investments: capital goods, cold chain, packaging, packing, etc.

There is still a significant need of infrastructures and unexploited sectors, namely in the tourism and cultural sectors, while tourism is the one sector in Egypt that has the highest growth. Lastly, a major contruction works policy is the government's priority: a Tochka delta project, a new canal in the Sinai region, some projects of new towns, as well as some ten airports being offered for privatization: Marsa Alam and Borg El-Arab airports, Bahareya Oasis airport, Ain Shokhna and Assiut airports, Sharm El-Sheikh and Aswan expansion projects, and the new Hurgada terminal. In the energy sector, there is a need to build a power plant as well as to develop the gas sector.

Privatization Programs
A privatization program is planned for the banking, telecommunication, textile, transport and chemical sectors.  Nearly 150 companies are yet to be privatized, amongst which approximately fifty are in the textile sector as well as some ten airports.
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Globaltenders, Tenders & Projects from Egypt
Tenders Info, Tenders in Egypt
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide

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Sectors Where Investment Opportunities Are Fewer

Monopolistic Sectors
The banking system is exclusively held by the State.

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Finding Assistance For Further Information

Investment Aid Agency
General Authority for Investment and Free Zones in Egypt(GAFI)
Other Useful Resources
Egyptian government information website
Doing Business Guides
Egypt Commercial Guide 2010 - Buy USA

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Experts Views (1)
  • Egypt Agriculture Economic Overview

    Only about 3 percent of Egypt’s approximately 1,000,000 square kilometers of land are arable, which percentage has hardly changed since 1972? Moreover, large arable parts of the Delta remain uncultivated while other parts do not get used to maximum capacity due to the lack of farmers’ education and lack of...

    Buhaisi Consulting International on 15 Apr 2012 related to Investment Opportunities in Egypt

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