Reducing US aid to Egypt has no negative impact on investment

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Ambassador Gamal Bayoumi, secretary general of the Arab Investors Union, and former Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that Egypt would not be affected at all by the reduction in the value of US aid. Egypt imports from the United States of America $7 billion while its civilian aid is $250 million, making imports 66 times larger than aid.
He added in an interview with MEO that the new regulations of the investment law are excellent, the problem being not the existence of regulations, but guiding the state to work with these regulations. Hence, there should be control by the state in a way that helps bring Arab and foreign investors to invest. He pointed that the new industrial licenses law will boost the influx of Arab and foreign investments into the Egyptian market.
He stressed that the Industrial Licensing Law includes many advantages, most important of which is the reduction of the licensing period, saving the investor waste of his money, as well as simplifying procedures and shortening the documentation period.

How do you see the reduction of certain allocations of the American aid to Egypt with regard to the economy?

We must know that Egypt pays about 66 times more to America. Egypt imports from the U.S. for about $7 billion while their civilian aid is 250 million. That way, imports of US products Services is 66 times greater than assistance and what the United States provides in terms of assistance and aid to Egypt. I would like to point out that what America or Europe offers to the Egyptian state is not aid, but a way of establishing stability and security in the Arab region for America and Europe. If they paid its price it would have cost them 10 times the amount they pay Egypt at the moment. It should also be emphasized that Egypt will not be affected at all by the reduction of US aid.

How do you see the continued allusions to cutting US aid to Egypt?

The threat of cutting off American aid is seen by some as an injury to the dignity of Egyptians, but Egyptians do not get threatened. This might affect the relations between the two peoples but not the economic ties.

Hence, the aid weapon should not be used as a way to threaten Egyptians, it is rather a chance to diversify and open new horizons in our import strategies. Can US or any other aid be dispensed with?

Yes, American and European aid can be dispensed with, since they are the ones benefiting from it. Egypt’s imports from the European Union are worth $ 22 billion in 2010 and its aid to Egypt is €149 million. As a result, imports are 107 times more than aid, but I send a
message to Egyptian economic officials that it is not logical to dispense with such aid, because actually it does not represent threat to our dignity, and adds to our current on-going cooperation with the European countries.

What is your comment on the Executive Regulations of the Investment Law?

The new regulation of investment law is excellent, but the problem is not in the existence of the regulation, but in guiding the state to work with this regulation, there should be supervision and coordination from the state in a way that best serves the Arab and foreign
investors to invest and produce in Egypt. I do not care about the investment law as much as I care about activating the Egyptian investment climate. Hence, the existence of the regulation is a legal act that is part of the state’s jurisdiction and its commitment to be linked with investors seriously, this work guarantees serious investments in the state, but what I talk about and what interests me is the application of an economic and investment climate in Egypt.

What is your comment on the issuance of the executive regulations of the Industrial Licensing Law?

The new industrial licensing law will enhance the influx of Arab and foreign investments into the Egyptian market. It includes many advantages, most important of which is the reduction of the licensing period, saving the investor the waste of his money, simplifying
procedures and reducing the documentation cycle, eliminating bureaucracy, and making it easier for investors to obtain the necessary licenses to operate. Any official must realize that when a foreign investor transfers money from abroad, his goal is not to deposit them in banks. Hence speeding up the issuance of licenses will help him reprocess his money and speed up his projects.

So, have investors money been disrupted in the past years?

Yes, in the past years when the pace of obtaining licenses was disrupted, this was equivalent to disrupting the funds of foreign investors, because when the bank holds a foreign investor’s money, he considers this loss, so whenever time is saved costs and losses are reduced.

What are the most important factors that an investor sees when entering a country?

The foreign investor, when entering any country, looks at the possibility of profit and loss. The Egyptian market has one of the highest probabilities for profit in the world, due to its large and diversified population, in addition to the laws and their appropriateness for investment, and the state’s view of businessmen; this element requires a positive attitude from the media as well as Egyptian drama where most often businessmen are depicted either as schemers or opportunists.

What are the most important factors that an investor sees when entering a country?

The foreign investor, when entering any country, looks at the possibility of profit and loss. The Egyptian market has one of the highest probabilities for profit in the world, due to its large and diversified population, in addition to the laws and their appropriateness for
investment, and the state’s view of businessmen; this element requires a positive attitude from the media as well as Egyptian drama where most often businessmen are depicted either as schemers or opportunists.

What are the most important factors that an investor sees when entering a country?

The foreign investor, when entering any country, looks at the possibility of profit and loss. The Egyptian market has one of the highest probabilities for profit in the world, due to its large and diversified population, in addition to the laws and their appropriateness for investment, and the state’s view of businessmen; this element requires a positive attitude from the media as well as Egyptian drama where most often businessmen are depicted either as schemers or opportunists.

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