Cabinet spokesman Hany Salah has announced a series of “legislative amendments” aimed at encouraging foreign investment, following a meeting between Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi and Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sharbatly, one of the largest Saudi investors in Egypt and owner of City Stars shopping centre.
A statement on the cabinet’s official page indicated that the talks are being held with the hope of encouraging greater foreign investment in Egypt.
Salah indicated that during their meeting El-Beblawi confirmed Egypt’s commitment to protecting foreign investments, adding that “the investment climate and the legislative environment progressing positively.”
Salah said El-Beblawi also assured Al-Sharbatly that the procedures the government is implementing include a number of “hierarchal amendments,” which will strengthen Egypt’s competitive advantage in the global marketplace. The primary focus of such changes is to reassure investors, increase operating capacity as well as contribute to greater efficiency in allocating resources.
Earlier in March, a number of Saudi and Egyptian businessmen, including Al-Sharbatly, decided to “freeze” their investments in Egypt. This decision came as a response to the Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah’s decision to ban a group of Saudi and Egyptian businessmen from travel and freeze investments as a result of “violations of stock market regulations.”
The accusations concerned allegations of insider trading and manipulation during the sale of Al Watany Bank of Egypt (AWB.)
The Egyptian-Gulf Investment Forum was held on 4 December in the latest attempt to attract Arab investors. The forum was attended by 500 Egyptian, Gulf and foreign investors.
During the conference, El-Beblawi stated that the problems faced by the 21 Egyptian and Saudi investors “have been resolved,” adding that the government would consider their remaining indictments and prudently amend legislation to address their concerns.