Egypt is making progress with economic reforms and is “open for business,” the country’s minister of investment and international cooperation told CNBC Thursday.
“We’re repositioning Egypt as a global investment destination so we’ve moved forwards with comprehensive improvements in the business environment,” Sahar Nasr, told CNBC’s “Capital Connection.”
The drive to open up the business sector to foreign investment included the passing of legislative reforms — ranging from new investment laws to the removal “of a lot of red tape,” she said.
As a result, Egypt has seen an increase in new companies coming to its shores, Nasr noted, as well as an expansion of existing ones and a rise in private sector investment. Still, she wanted to see a reduction in state-ownership and a rise in private sector participation. “It’s a work in progress,” she said.
Nasr said monetary and fiscal reforms and a weaker Egyptian pound had made it easier to do business in the Middle Eastern nation and that firms were not put off by security concerns, particularly an ongoing conflict in the Sinai peninsula between Islamist militants and Egyptian security forces.
“The fact is that foreign direct investment is coming in and I see big companies from across the world, from the U.S., from Europe, from the Gulf, from Asia, are coming in and establishing their companies,” she said.
“I always look back and reflect where Egypt was a few years ago and look at where we are today. I’m here in Cairo, a very safe and secure society. Egypt has maintained a lot of political, social and economic stability recently and that’s reflected in all the numbers that I see from ratings agencies, international institutions and more importantly, market confidence.”