Egypt’s parliament on 7 May finally approved a new law intended to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country and regulate local business activities. The law was first drafted in 2015. The law provides incentives to support the private sector in the poorest governorates of the country, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation says. FDI in the period July-December 2016 rose by 39% to reach $4.3bn from $3.1bn in the corresponding period in 2015, Ms Nasr said in March.

The incentives include a 50% corporate tax discount on investments in underdeveloped areas and government support to investors for the cost of connecting utilities to new projects. The law is designed to reduce bureaucracy and streamline the process of establishing companies, improvements which will be highly appreciated in a country known for its inefficient red tape and time-consuming procedures. (CONTINUED - 171 WORDS)