Egypt To Pass Mining And Industrial Land Laws Next Week -Minister

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Egypt will pass laws next week related to mining and the allocation of industrial land as it pursues reforms to attract foreign investors deterred by political turmoil, the investment minister said on Tuesday.

But Asharf Salman gave few details about the content of the laws at a press conference with a visiting Russian minister. He also did not mention other anticipated legal reforms such as those related to bankruptcies, liquidation and capital repatriation.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government in July took the politically sensitive steps of cutting energy subsidies and raising taxes, hoping to fix the state’s finances and restore confidence in the battered economy.

Sisi then placed infrastructure mega-projects like the development of a logistics and industrial hub around the Suez Canal at the top of his economic agenda, in a bid to create jobs in a country with double-digit unemployment.

The government has also resolved a number of legal disputes involving foreign companies such as Orascom Construction Industries and Al Futtaim Group.

But investors say they have still only seen the general outlines of promised legal and bureaucratic reforms. A World Bank official on Monday urged the government to take concrete steps ahead of an international investment conference slated for mid-March.

Salman said the government would also issue a law boosting the role of the country’s investment authority before the March conference in Sharm El Sheikh at which Egypt is hoping to attract more than $12 billion in investment.

The reform is aimed at making the authority the main destination for investors aiming to enter the country, saving them from having to deal with multiple government agencies with often-conflicting agendas.

Source: Reuters

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