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12 Oct 2019

Signing of Cooperation Protocol between the General Authority for Investment and Financial Regulatory Authority to conduct Inventory Statistics on Foreign Investment in Egypt

Counselor Mohamed Abd El Wahab: “establishing a committee of specialists from both authorities in the areas of data, statistics, and information technology in order to develop a comprehensive and updated database.”

Head of the General Authority for Financial Regulatory: “figures on direct foreign investment need to be revised; hence the inventory of databases between both bodies would be done.”

H.E. Dr. Sahar Nasr, Investment and International Cooperation Minister (MIIC), Counselor Ahmed Said Khalil, Board of Trustees of the Egyptian Money Laundering Combating Unit  (EMLCU), and Dr. Mohamed Omran, Head of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA), attested the signing of cooperation protocol on October 13th 2019 between the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) and Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) on exchanging data and information electronically in the area of inventory statistics of direct foreign investment in Egypt.

The protocol was signed by Counselor Mohamed Abd El Wahab, GAFI Deputy Executive Director, and Judge Khaled El Nashar, Vice Head of the FRA.

This protocol falls under the fruitful cooperation between GAFI and FRA in order to ameliorate the investment conditions in Egypt, support investment policies, and to provide information and data on foreign investment in Egypt, making them more comprehensive and updated. Also, the objective is to allow the MIIC to compile all clauses on foreign investment in Egypt and the implemented decisions, which are adopted with respect to the companies that have securities at the Egyptian stock market.

H.E. Dr Nasr affirmed that the protocol comes to enforce the recent amendments on Investment Law which stipulates the addition of Clause 14 to Article 74, ensuring that information and data, required for the calculation of direct and indirect foreign investment assets from public and private entities for statistical purposes, shall be prepared by the GAFI in accordance with applicable international practices. For this, GAFI shall prepare forms and questionnaires to complete information and data, applying them by all means, including electronically.

Dr. Nasr highlighted that the Economic Group led by Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, the Prime Minister, has fully revised all the economic indicators. It has been noted that there is a development in all these indicators except for direct foreign investment. That has to do with the lack of full inventory for the direct foreign investment figures, thus “[this] protocol aims at full inventory of the figures of direct foreign investment such as the expansion of foreign companies in Egypt, with their profits used in new expansions, in addition to investments related to the development of Suez Canal,” said Dr. Nasr.

H.E. added that the group will work as one team in the inventory of direct foreign investment.

Dr. Nasr stated that meetings were held with the World Bank regarding combating money laundering and that Egypt is keen on improving its indicators, especially after the reforms made by EMLCU under the auspices of Counselor Ahmed Said Khalil.

On his part, Counselor Mohamed Abd El Wahab, GAFI Deputy Executive Director, clarified that a joint committee of specialists from both authorities/bodies has been established in the areas of data, statistics, and information technology. He added that the committee will be working on identifying the essential data, information, as well as documents in order to develop a comprehensive and updated database; shift to electronic systems with respect to the performance of advanced services while taking the necessary procedures against money laundering activities and terrorism financing, in coordination with EMLCU.

Dr. Mohamed Omran, Head of FRA, stressed that the signed protocol has many pillars, among those is the direct foreign investment in the light of the economic reforms which have been implemented in Egypt, adding to the success stories achieved in this arena. Since the figures on direct foreign investment need due revision, connecting databases as well as adding equipment, which arrive in Egypt without being mentioned under the direct foreign investment, have become deeply crucial.

Dr. Omran pointed out that the data related to companies under the auspices of FRA would be sent to GAFI, indicating how both authorities are cooperating and complementing each other in adopting the minutes of the general assemblies and in implementing homogenous decisions in order to better serve the investor. He also referred to the coordination between the two bodies and the EMLCU with respect to combating money laundering, praising the efforts of Counselor Ahmed Said Khalil, in combating money laundering and terrorism financing.

Dr. Omran explained that the competitiveness report showed a noticeable improvement for the Egyptian economy, expecting further improvement in Egypt's ranking in the next Doing Business report.

Judge Khaled El Nashar, Vice Head of FRA, indicated that this protocol comes in the scope of complementing the work between the government’s bodies and ministries while striving to combat money laundering.