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Sunday, 16 December 2018

Cabinet green lights land grant program for industry

CABINET WATCH- Government to begin land grant program for industry: Cabinet greenlit at its weekly meeting on Thursday presidential decrees designating state-owned land to be allocated at no cost to select manufacturing projects. The decrees identified land in underdeveloped areas around El Wadi El Gedeed, Minya, Beni Suef, Upper Egypt and the Red Sea. Qualifying investments can apply for up to 40k sqm each. Investments will need to be labor or tech-intensive, highly reliant on locally-sourced inputs, an SME or micro enterprise, or bound for export. Investors will be required to start work on their project within a year of allocation.

Cabinet completes review of SWF bylaws and articles: Cabinet also approved on Thursday the articles and bylaws governing Egypt’s forthcoming sovereign wealth fund, according to a Cabinet statement. The 53-article document now goes to the Council of State (Maglis El Dawla) for review. The framework would establish the SWF as a separate legal entity with authorized capital of EGP 200 bn and issued capital of EGP 5 bn. It also lays out the SWF’s organizational and governance structures.

The bylaws also outline principles under which its affiliated companies ought to operate, as well as procedures to follow in the case of conflicts of interest or in the face of liquidation. The fund’s stated mission is to “contribute to Egypt’s sustainable economic development through its assets and funds, which are to be managed efficiently and purposefully in compliance with globally-recognized best practices and standards.” The bylaws also require the HQ for the fund to be set up in Cairo, with branches in other governorates. The fund will move into ‘setup phase’ within a month of finishing the bylaws and naming a chief executive. The former is expected before the end of this month and the latter by mid-January.

Also approved during the Council of Ministers’ weekly meeting:

  • Launching a EUR 60 mn program, funded by the European Emergency Fund for Africa, to curb illegal immigration in Egypt;
  • Accepting a EUR 350 mn loan from the European Investment Bank to renovate Cairo Metro Line 1, which is part of a larger EUR 600 mn financing package;
  • Amending a law to increase fines for failure to register death certificates (the move is likely part of the clampdown designed to stop relatives of the deceased from continuing to receive social assistance in the dead person’s name).

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