Despite tough economic conditions, Egypt is continuing to strengthen its position not only as one of the world’s leading outsourcing destinations but also as a successful business location.
Reports published this week by the World Economic Forum and the World Bank reveal that Egypt is becoming an increasingly competitive and growing economy. It is also proving easier for local and multinational companies to set up business operations in the country.
The recent reports seem to be consistent with the positive developments witnessed by the Egyptian economy especially in the ICT sector where multi-nationals like IBM, CISCO, Google, and HSBC have opted for utilising the wide array of competitive advantages offered by the country.
In the IFC–World Bank Doing Business 2010 report, Egypt has risen sharply from 116th to 106th in the ranking on the ease of doing business, driven by regulatory reforms that have made it easier to start and operate a business in the country.
The report highlights that governments in the Middle East and Africa are reforming at a rate similar to those in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and Egypt was highlighted as one of the region’s most active reformers. In the past year, Egypt’s reforms have made it easier to start a business, deal with construction permits, secure credit and enforce contracts.
Over the past five years, Egypt has implemented at least 19 reforms covering the areas measured by the report. Some of the reforms implemented include a cut in the personal tax rate from 32 percent to 20 percent; the halving of corporate tax from 42 percent to 20 percent and the simplification of tariffs.
Egypt has also jumped 11 places in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2009/2010 as a result of the recent liberalization efforts in the country. Egypt is now 70th in the rankings, up from 81st in 2008/2009. The World Economic Forum attributed the improvement in Egypt’s ranking to the upgrading of its infrastructure across all categories and to positive developments related to labor market efficiency.
One of Egypt’s biggest growth areas is the communications and information technology sector, which grew by 14.6 percent in the fiscal year to June 2009. Reductions in piracy levels, introduction in e-signature law and anti-corruption initiatives have seen Egypt establish itself as one of the world’s leading outsourcing destinations.