RIYADH: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has announced granting ‘golden licenses’ to investor applicants in the north African country for a period of three months, in a bid to speed up projects and boost investment.
Al-Sisi’s directive came during the inauguration of the first International Forum and Exhibition for Industry, which is set to take place over three days in Cairo, reported Asharq.
The license will allow investors to buy or rent lands, operate and manage the projects and allocate the necessary facilities for it with just a single approval.
In case of achieving progress, the license could be extended for additional three months, Al-Sisi said.
“This decision is a confirmation of the state's keenness to provide equal opportunities, enhance competition mechanisms and empower the private sector,” said Aya Zuhair, vice president of research at Zilla Capital.
She added: “We expect the decision to succeed in attracting new investments to Egypt in the future.”
The decision came following Egypt’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund, allowing the country to obtain an extended credit facility of $3 billion.
The arrangement is expected to catalyze a large multi-year financing package, including about $5 billion in the financial year ending in June 2023, reflecting broad international and regional support for Egypt, the IMF said in a statement.
Fakhry El-Feky, head of the parliamentary committee for planning and budget, said that the agreement is “a certificate of reassurance.”
“The agreement will not reduce citizens’ income, but will lead to a reduction in the inflation rate with the application of the monetary policy of the central bank which will control inflation while leaving the dollar exchange rate (up) to the forces of supply and demand,” he told Arab News in an interview on Oct. 29.
The IMF’s announcement came after Egypt’s central bank decided to raise key interest rates by 2 percent and switched to a more flexible exchange rate system in a bid to combat the country’s mounting economic issues.
The bank’s Monetary Policy Committee said in a statement that it had raised the new lending rate to 14.25 percent and the deposit rate to 13.25 percent. The discount rate was also increased to 13.75 percent, it said.
The bank also announced that it had moved to “a durable flexible exchange rate” system, a change that would allow the international markets to “determine the value of the Egyptian pound against other foreign currencies.”