Egypt leads in Mideast business development

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The International Finance Corporation reports that Egypt has made the most reforms in its business regulations in the Middle East this year.

World Bank affiliate, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) reported that Egypt has reformed its business regulations more than any other country in the Middle East in the past year through May.

It was also once again among the top ten worldwide, in terms of business reform.

However, the country ranked 114th globally in terms of the ease of doing business, with Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s largest economy, ranking highest among the Middle Eastern nations in this category. It came 16th on the listing.

According to the annual report, Doing Business, the Egyptian government improved on making it easier for businesses to start up through new measures, which included the reduction of the initial capital requirements by more than 80 per cent and automating tax registration.

The country also changed rules for listing a company on its stock market that will help strengthen protection for minority shareholders.

Also important were changes in custom regulations at the port of Alexandria to speed-up clearance.

The country also simplified procedures for registering property.

Egypt’s economy continued to expand at an impressive 7.2 per cent, making it one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

According to the IFC, this is due to the market-oriented government that took power in 2004.

On the downside, inflation in the country hit a 16-year high of 22 per cent in July, as food and beverage prices continued to soar out of control.

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