Egypt encourages private sector

Private capital in Egypt looks set to have a more important role to play after the Parliament passed a bill allowing private participation in public projects. The government also announced the setting up of 21 investment zones to be operated by private players.

A week after the Egyptian Parliament passed a bill that allows private participation in infrastructure and public utilities projects, the Egyptian Ministry of Finance has begun preparing the executive rules defining how the private sector can actively participate in these projects.

Egypt’s Minister of Finance Boutros Ghali has formed a joint legal committee that includes the heads of the finance, budget and partnership sectors as well as his legal experts to formulate the rules.

According to Egypt’s Public Private Partnership Central Unit, the new laws are designed to reduce the budget deficit, attract investments and encourage the private sector.

In the meantime, the government has also announced plans to set up 21 special investment zones over the next two years in the Delta and Upper Egypt regions. According to reports, the private sector will manage operations and licensing in these zones as well as establish needed infrastructure.

Egypt has been encouraging investment activity in the country by easing down the rules and creating specialised zones to spur more private participation in public sector projects.