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Egypt - Egypt unveils new economic reform program

The Egyptian government has outlined a radical new program of economic reform, including tax cuts and privatization. The program was announced at a strategic forum held in London on Sept. 29, 2004 and hosted by international law firm Trowers & Hamlins.

Among the attendees at the forum were Egyptian Investment Minister Mahmoud Mohieldin and British Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Baroness Symons.

In his speech, Mohieldin, hailed the progress made by President Hosni Mubarak's government in reforming the Egyptian economy and encouraging greater foreign investment. Significant steps had already been taken, he said, to reduce the tax burden on businesses by cutting customs duties.

Mohieldin went on to stress that more radical measures are in the pipeline. These, he said, will include substantial reductions in Egyptian corporation and income tax rates. He announced that one of Egypt's state banks will be privatized and suggested that a wide-ranging program of privatization will follow, assuming the initial privatization proves successful. Mohieldin also made a commitment to reduce the red tape burden on businesses operating in Egypt.

Baroness Symons, in her address, congratulated the Mubarak government on its ongoing, ambitious program of economic reform. The U.K., she said, is now the top non-Arab investor in Egypt, with investments worth $18 billion.

Beirut,10 11 2004
The Daily Star
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