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Thursday, 20 April 2017

The never ending saga of the Investment Act continues

The never-ending saga of the Investment Act continues: The old adage that a camel is a horse designed by committee comes to mind this morning as we look for clarity on what the House of Representatives is doing with the Ismail government’s draft Investment Act. Approval by the House Economics Committee appears to be dragging on thanks to debates over semantics: It now appears that the committee is debating to reduce the number of articles in the law to under 60 from 99, ostensibly to make it easier for investors. (That’s the same justification MPs had earlier used when they wanted to split the act into two separate pieces of legislation.) The proposal carries favor with the Support Egypt Coalition leader and head of the Federation of Egyptian Industries Mohamed El Sewedy, parliamentary sources tell Al Borsa. There is no clear explanation on which articles might be cut or why. The vote to approve the act, which was supposed to have taken place last month, has now once again been pushed to next week. Also still unclear this morning: Whether MPs are inclined to allow the establishment of private-sector-run free zones.

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