Translation: Muhammad Khalid
The Egyptian state is always seeking to offer significant facilities to investors planning to launch new projects. These facilities include a set of mechanisms that simplify procedures. As Egypt does not want investors and manufacturers to face any difficulties, the country takes big steps to support them. In that context, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has recently announced granting Golden License to investors within a period of three months, to accelerate the initiation of projects.
The golden license is a unified approval for the establishment, operation, and management of a project including building licenses and property allocation. It may be granted by a cabinet decision. The golden license may entail the application of one or more of the incentives the license grants. According to the Egyptian Investment Law, the golden license may be granted to companies establishing strategic or national projects contributing to the achievement of sustainable development based on the state’s economic development plan
The golden license is granted to companies implementing public-private partnerships (PPP) projects in the fields of public utilities, infrastructure, new and renewable energy, roads, transport, ports, communication, and information technology.
As demonstrated by the General Authority for Investment (GAFI), the golden license regulations and conditions incorporate establishing a joint-stock or limited liability company with an issued capital of at least 20% of the project’s investment cost, and submitting documents of the project’s solvency.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly promised to set up an office to receive applications for golden licenses. Applications will be presented to the substantive secretariat of the Cabinet’s golden license committee. The committee has approved granting golden licenses to 8 investment projects out of 12 considered in different sectors, including those submitted by Egypt for Green Hydrogen and Egypt for Green Ammonia companies.
The contracting and real estate sectors are among the most growing and attractive sectors to foreign investments in Egypt. The two sectors are expected to achieve better growth in the coming period. Invest-Gate interviewed experts on the impact of the government’s golden license and the facilitation of real estate investment procedures on the market’s future performance.
The CEO of the Real Estate Development Chamber, Osama Saad El-Din, notes that the golden license is a big grant by President El-Sisi, and is of huge importance to the real estate sector for saving a considerable portion of time in procedures and approvals, which attracts more investments.
He adds: “The real estate sector enjoys the advantage of the unified window, where matters go smoothly and are within reach. However, things are troubling in the case of big and medium industries, in which it is necessary to evaluate factories and implement a series of different procedures that take at least 6 months. Granting investors [the golden] license in a short time is a miracle.”
Member of the Real Estate Investment Division, Alaa Fekri, reiterates: “Any facilitation in procedures and minimization of bureaucracy is a very important step that reflects positively on the Egyptian economy, with the facilitation and acceleration of companies’ registry procedures and opening of corporate headquarters in Egypt. We are expecting more facilities and measures that drive the real estate market in a good way. The golden license decision is undisputed, and it is a step towards the right way of attracting foreign and GCC investments.”
The CEO of Four Walls for Real Estate, Ahmed Sobhy, says: “The golden license, launched by President Abdelfattah El Sisi, is an initiative that attracts foreign currency through facilitation of the procedures of incorporation and building of foreign and individual companies in Egypt. Egypt is among the biggest markets in the Middle East due to its location and population. The country provides the ideal climate that is attractive to investors. Foreign investments contribute to boosting development, creating jobs, providing foreign currency, and construction of various projects in all areas.”
Sobhy elaborates: “The real estate sector will witness a great demand by investors in the coming period, given the advantages of the golden license, including facilitation of allocation and licensing procedures. Additionally, Egypt is a fertile land for real estate investments, as it is offering excellent locations for tourist properties, in destinations such as the North Coast, Ain Sokhna, and the Red Sea, as well as residential properties in Cairo, which saw a breakthrough in infrastructure, roads, and transportations connecting governorates with huge road networks that ease transportation in the capital and outside it.”
He reiterates: “All these factors create the ideal climate for investors interested in the real estate sector in Egypt. The prime minister has already held a meeting with investors in the GCC, exploring real estate investment in the country, who expressed intentions to launch tourist and residential complexes in Egypt in the coming days.”
Finally, the golden license is of great importance, for it offers a good opportunity to foreign investors seeking to inject huge investments into Egypt. The license’s incentives are a strong drive of investments in different economic sectors, especially real estate. It is an effective step by the state toward improvement and bolstering of the investment climate, and revitalization of the Egyptian economy.