Egypt approves incentives to bolster investment-paper

CAIRO, April 11 Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:37am BST

CAIRO, April 11 (Reuters) - Egypt has approved investment incentives that will simplify procedures for new industrial projects and make it easier to set up franchises, the head of the General Authority for Investment (GAFI) was quoted as saying on Monday.

An uprising that led to the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak and continued political turmoil have dampened Egypt's economic prospects and the country's appeal as an investment destination, prompting the interim government to act to try and attract foreign investment.

Projects would no longer need the initial approval of the Industrial Development Authority and foreign firms establishing franchises can register in three days, instead of the previous four to six months, the al-Mal daily newspaper quoted Osama Saleh as saying.

Export and import licences would also be valid for three to five years, instead of the previous six months to a year, Saleh said.

Egypt's Finance Minister Samir Radwan forecasts foreign direct investment to Egypt will fall to $4.1 billion in the 2010/11 financial year ending on June 30, from $6.8 billion in the previous financial year, the paper said.

Radwan also said private investment would contribute 15 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010/11, growing to 25 percent in the 2011/12.

Radwan has said Egyptian GDP would grow by only 2.5 to 3 percent in the 2010/1. Before political unrest broke out in January, the government had been predicting growth of around 6 percent. [ID:nWEB4465] [ID:nLDE62O0UN] (Reporting by Dina Zayed; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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