Egypt advances 6 places on World Bank Doing Business 2020 report

Egypt advanced on the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report six places, ranking 114th out of 190 countries. The ranking marks an improvement from Egypt’s ranking of 120th on the Doing Business 2019 report.

The report monitored the Egyptian government’s implementation of several reforms to improve the investment climate and simplify procedures in four areas. One of those areas was the establishment of companies, a category in which Egypt has advanced 19 ranks globally, ranking 90th up from 109th in last year’s report, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation on Thursday.

Egypt’s progress in the index of establishing companies shows the impact of Investment Ministry efforts on simplifying procedures for investors in investment service centers nationwide, including through the use of the single-window system, said the Investment Ministry.

The ministry also has applied legislative reforms and electronically-supported work systems under the state’s digital transformation plan. The ministry is keen to continuously communicate with the private sector. These reforms and principles led to the qualitative leap on the index of establishing companies.

Furthermore, Egypt advanced on the electricity access index by about 19 ranks to stand 77th, up from 96th last year, according to the ministry.

The ministry’s statement added that this progress also came in light of the remarkable reforms implemented in Egypt, including speeding up the delivery of electricity to citizens after developing infrastructure for the production and distribution of electricity. Another reform has involved increasing transparency for the processes of changing electricity prices.

Egypt also advanced on the index of the protection of small investors, jumping 15 positions from 72 to 57 due to legislative reforms related to the indicator.

The report pointed out that Egypt advanced in the tax reimbursement index three places compared to last year, moving from 159 to 156, according to the ministry.

Progress on the tax reimbursement index was supported by the introduction of a new electronic system for filing VAT and income tax and allowing electronic payment for those taxes. This system was comprehensively applied to all companies in Egypt. The application of this system facilitated dealings with the Tax Authority, according to the statement.

The Ministry of Investment said that Egypt is expected to progress on this indicator in next year’s report on reforms during the last quarter of 2018.

The World Bank report said Egypt was among the top 25 countries in the world in terms of the number of reforms in the 2020 report. This high ranking reflects the government’s sustained commitment to improving the investment climate and simplifying procedures for investors, the ministry’s statement read.

The report monitored reform measures implemented up to April 2019, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr said.

The minister praised Egypt’s progress in this year’s report, especially on the index of establishing companies and protecting small investors, expecting further progress on the report next year following further reforms.

In an attempt to revive its faltering economy since 2011, Egypt obtained an IMF loan in 2016 in exchange for implementing a rigorous reform program, beginning with floating the pound.

Implementation of the program began in November 2016. The international lender agreed to provide Egypt with a $12 billion loan, in exchange for wide-ranging structural economic reforms.

These reforms include a raft of measures such as devaluing the pound currency, loosening capital controls, ending energy subsidies, reforming public enterprises and overhauling monetary policy – all in a bid to restore economic stability and long-term growth.

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