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Thursday, 1 November 2018

Egypt jumps 8 spots in World Bank’s 2019 Ease of Doing Business report

** #1 More good news: Egypt is among the most-improved countries in the World Bank’s latest Ease of Doing Business report: Egypt jumped eight spots to rank 120th out of 190 countries in the World Bank Group’s 2019 Ease of Doing Business report (pdf). The country made it to the report’s list of top performers in 2017-18 thanks to the implementation of regulatory reforms that facilitated doing business in three or more of the 10 topics included in the report compared to last year. Here’s where we did well:

Starting a business: The process of starting a new business became easier over the past year with the introduction ofa “one-stop shop” for investors that doesn’t require a bank certificate, which helped reduce “regulatory complexity” in 2017-18. According to the report, it now takes an average of 11 days and 6.5 steps to start a business.

Making it easier to access credit: Egypt also worked on strengthening the legal rights of borrowers and lenders “by introducing the possibility of granting a non-possessory security right in a single category of movable assets without requiring a specific description of the collateral. Secured creditors are now given absolute priority over other claims, such as labor and tax, both outside and within bankruptcy proceedings,” the report said.

Egypt also stepped up protections for minority investors by expanding shareholders’ role in company management and “increasing corporate transparency.”

We can actually restructure with bankruptcy protection rather than go to jail: Under the subhed “resolving bankruptcy,” the World Bank notes that Egypt “introduced a new restructuring procedure, which included training programs on solvency law and allowed debtors to initiate the reorganization procedure and granted creditors greater participation in the proceedings.”

Paying taxes has also been made easier by improving the VAT refund process, extending it to refunds to manufacturers in case of a capital investment.

How did we fare in comparison to others? New Zealand remains at the top of the global ranking, followed by Singapore and Denmark. Somalia also retained its spot at the bottom of the chart, despite its score improving slightly y-o-y. The UAE was the highest ranked MENA country, climbing to the 11th spot from 21 last year. Morocco ranked 60 and Saudi Arabia ranked 92.

Other recent good news: Smart government policy helped virtually eliminate the “black cloud” that previously plagued the nation’s capital every fall and a World Bank report found the white cab taxi replacement program slashed Egypt’s carbon dioxide emissions by 310k tonnes in 2013-2017.

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