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Egypt Discovers If It Cuts the Red Tape, Investors Will Come

  • More than 20-fold increase in new licenses since June 2017
  • Government still struggling to bring in foreign investments
Traffic along a bridge spanning the river Nile in Cairo, Egypt. 

Traffic along a bridge spanning the river Nile in Cairo, Egypt. 

Photographer: Shawn Baldwin

Egypt’s efforts to attract new businesses, following sweeping reforms, appear to be paying off, with a twenty-fold surge in the number of new industrial licenses issued since laws were changed a year ago, according to a top official.

Since June 2017, authorities have cut the maximum time it takes to approve a permit to 30 days compared to an earlier average of nearly two years, said Ahmed Abdel-Razek, chairman of the Industrial Development Authority. The authority has issued 8,400 licenses versus 340 the year before.