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CAIRO – 31 October 2017: Egypt has carried out 29 reforms over the last 15 years, in comparison to Jordan (with 19 reforms), Tunisia (19) and Algeria (16), the World Bank Group’s statement said on Tuesday.
Marking its 15th anniversary, the World Bank Group issued a report titled “Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs;” in which the bank indicates that Egypt has made some improvements to keep with the international business reform.
The report noted that Egypt has adopted a number of key business reforms over the past year, including one to improve the business climate for domestic small and medium enterprises, which was recognized in the report.
Protecting Minority Investors
According to the report, Egypt played a role in Protecting Minority Investors, as it has strengthened minority shareholder rights and their role in major corporate decisions, a continuation of efforts over the past four years. The country now ranks the 81st globally in this area.
“Egypt has made ambitious economic reforms over the past few years, which have helped boost investor confidence and attract foreign capital. This year, the IFC has tripled its investments in the country,” said Walid Labadi, the IFC Country Manager for Egypt, Libya and Yemen.
“There are signs that Egypt's economic reforms are starting to bear fruit. For example, we are seeing an increase in capital flow into Egypt, especially in the energy and manufacturing sectors,” said Merza Hassan, dean of Executive Board and the executive director of the World Bank Group.
“With Egypt starting the difficult reform process, I am confident that we'll soon see more investments and job creation. The current reforms are already adding a new dynamic to the market, which is going to reflect positively on the economy,” Hassan added.
Egypt performs best in the category of Dealing with Construction Permits, where it is ranked 66th globally. For example, obtaining a construction permit and building a warehouse in Egypt costs just 1.9 percent of warehouse value, compared to an average of 4.3 percent in the Middle East and North Africa region, the report stated.
Several improvements have also been made in the category of Getting Credit, including the establishment of a well-functioning private credit bureau. The bureau earns the maximum 8 points on the depth of credit information index, compared to a regional average of just 4.8 points, the report referred.
The report shows that registering property was made more difficult, however, because of a rise in the cost of verifying and ratifying a sales contract.
It also shows Egypt underperforming in the areas of Paying Taxes, where it is at 167, and Trading Across Borders, where it ranks 170th globally. It takes 265 hours to obtain the right paperwork to import, for example, four times longer than the global average of 66 hours.
Starting a Business
In the area of Starting a Business, Egypt has implemented seven reforms over recent years. As a result, the time and cost to start a business has been more than halved to 14.5 days and 7.4 percent of income per capita, respectively, from 39.5 days and 65.6 percent of income per capita 15 years ago, according to the report.