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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Egypt moves up nine spots on Doing Business 2017 report

Egypt has moved up nine spots to rank at number 122 out 190 countries in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 report, behind the Bahamas and ahead of Brazil. Egypt ranked 131 last year. The report attributes the rise to an improvement in the ease of establishing a new company, which jumped 34 spots, and improvements in protecting minority shareholder rights, where we rose eight spots from last year. The worst place in the world to do business: Somalia, ranked number 190. The best: New Zealand (may we please have Anzac biscuits for mentioning this?). The US ranks number eight, the UAE advanced to 26, making it the top-ranked Arab country, and Israel was number 52. The full report can be viewed here (pdf, 356 pages), or you can check out media coverage at home (Al Mal) and abroad (WSJ)

The Investment Ministry issued statements to the media explaining reasons behind declines in certain indices. Caps on deposits, withdrawals and restrictions on obtaining letters of credit saw Egypt drop 11 places to 168 in the trading across borders section of the report. And it’s not just that we have problems: Others are improving, the ministry said, explaining that Egypt fell three places to 82 on the getting credit index because others advanced. Egypt is playing catch up and hopes to improve its standing on that index when legislation such as the Moveable Assets Act are ratified. As for the 11-position drop in the paying taxes index to 162, the ministry stated that the value-added tax had not been ratified yet when the report was being compiled. Egypt also fell by three positions and was ranked 162 in enforcing contracts.

What, what? Egypt is objecting to being included among countries in which women require permission from husbands to start a company. Mohamed Khodeir, head of General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, says that’s simply inaccurate, Al Mal reports. From personal experience: We’re quite sure he’s right.

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