Egypt to issue unified investment law by Feb end: Minister
Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman - YOUM7

CAIRO: Egypt is expected to issue the Unified Investment Law by the end of February, prior to the upcoming Egypt Economic Development Conference scheduled in March, said Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman, Youm7 reported Sunday.

Egypt hopes the long-awaited economic conference would lure fresh investments to boost its limping economy battered by political turmoil since the January 25 Revolution.

“A number of economic laws are being amended and re-drafted, including micro industries, mining and local product priority legislation,” Salman said on the sidelines of a news conference held Sunday.

Salman added that the law provides many incentives that could boost investors, especially in remote areas like some Upper Egypt governorates. He added that is expected to witness a “significant improvement.”

He said that the government is targeting investments ranging between $10-15 billion from the economic summit and during the next two years.

During the 1st quarter of the current fiscal year, economic growth hit 6.8 percent, up from 4 percent in the 4th quarter of (2013/14) FY, according to Salman.

“We [the government] are seeking to reducing unemployment to 9 percent, down from 13.3 percent, in addition to cutting the public debt to 84 percent of GDP, from 94 percent now,” the minister detailed.

Egypt’s economy has recently witnessed positive indicators, such as Fitch Ratings’ upgrade the country’s long-term credit rating from B- to B in December. The International Monetary Fund also raised Egypt’s growth forecast in its Regional Economic Outlook update in January to 3.8 percent, up from a 3.5 percent growth rate in the October forecast.

These steps were driven by higher political stability and security after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took office in June 2014, along with applying fiscal reforms on the subsidy system and tax base.

Further, the Central Bank of Egypt has allowed the local currency to depreciate against the dollar since Jan. 18, showing a turn to adopting more flexible exchange policy ahead of the Economic Summit. It also helped the bank narrow the gap between the official and black market exchange rates.

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