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Advisory Board 2016 Takeaway 2

The Government have started reforms to encourage investment though there is a need to focus on decision making and collaboration.

A prominent theme was the need for greater transparency and consistency for investors regarding decision making. For potential investors, Egypt can be a minefield to understand the business environment, which has a lack of open communication and internal ministry conflicts.

Although dramatic changes are required, suggestions were made as to how the government can combat these issues. These included the need for a universal mind-set shift, and opening the lines of communication and incorporating stakeholders in decision making processes. This in turn will drive collaboration from all parties. In terms of reforms, the government has made positive steps to improve Egypt’s investor climate. The fuel subsidies appeared to have been well-received with an expected short-term impact on the economy and rising living costs. There is still a long way to go, with a need for clarity on the investment law and tax exemptions as an example. Going forward, it was also mentioned that the reforms may need to extend to adapting laws for investors in order to encourage their input.

Presently, however, the floatation of the Egyptian pound creates an enticing environment for foreign investors, though the initial impact has been felt internally with rising costs of raw materials and projects.

Therefore, the government needs to continue reforms with the goal of gaining foreign investment into its downstream industry, whilst being mindful about the effect on domestic business.

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