The Ministry of Investment launched a comprehensive plan for the restructure of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) to accelerate the delivery of services to investors, which contributes to increased economic activity, according to Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman.
GAFI is working on the establishment of companies and offering lands for investment through its online portal as well as providing all services related to launching investments in Egypt.
According to Salman, a study has been conducted to outline the process for the registration of companies in the authority by following each procedure separately to estimate the time required for each step in the registration process.
Salman explained that a special unit was established at the investment services complex to offer special services that enable investors to finalise the procedures for establishing companies and offer post-establishment services in two hours.
“We increased the number of offices that offer services,” Salman said. The authority will continue to expand the number of offices and complexes serving investors nationwide, while maintaining efficiency and speed, as well as developing the information infrastructure of the computers and operating systems.
He said there have been consultations in the cabinet to offer non-tax incentives for labour-intensive projects that rely on local components by offering them facilitations in electricity payments, bearing the employer’s share in employees’ insurance, granting lands through the usufruct system, and undertaking the costs of providing the lands with infrastructure.
The minister said a committee was formed for internal auditing. This committee includes independent non-executives members of GAFI’s board of directors. The committee is tasked with ensuring that all services comply with the government’s standards, and guaranteeing the integrity of internal procedures.
He said the committee will report directly to the Board of Directors of the authority, which will raise the quality of services offered by the authority and ensure their compatibility with international standards, norms, and rules of governance.
Egypt’s ranking in doing the business indicators issued by international firms is linked to the efficiency of procedures to establish companies and the support offered to investors in launching their businesses. Egypt is currently ranked 131 out of 196 listed countries.
The minister said he is preparing training courses for members of the ministry’s internal auditing department to prepare them to follow up on all the procedures and services provided by the authority to investors. He explained all procedures are currently being studied either to be amended or repealed to facilitate the process of launching a company or business.
According to Salman, the activation of the one-stop system will improve Egypt’s ranking in doing business since it will accelerate services, permits, licences, and the offering of lands for investment.