EGYPT: LAW NO. 40 OF 1988 THE RE-ORGANISATION OF THE MINISTRY OF ECONOMY AND FOREIGN TRADE A new Law has been passed re-organising the Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade. Article 1 provides that the aim of the Ministry is to develop economic activity within the framework of Egypt's public policy, and in a manner that will achieve economic and social development. Further requirements of the Ministry's work are the organisation and development of the money market, the foreign currency market, and foreign trade generally. The Ministry is further responsible for representing Egypt to the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Article 2 provides that the Ministry is to develop policy for Egypt in the currency, credit, and foreign exchange fields, and is to encourage Egyptian, Arab, and foreign investments within the country and in the new free zones. The Ministry is also to pro- mote commercial insurance business, and create a suitable climate for savings and investment. Article 3 provides that there are new departments as follows: a central department of legal affairs, central department for the Minister's office, a foreign currency and currency budget division, a foreign trade division, a research and economic infor- mation division, and a commercial representation unit. The latter is sub-divided into a department for American countries, a department of European countries, an Arab and Afro/Asian department, and two departments dealing with regional and inter- national economic organisations, and diplomatic matters. There is also a separate Administration for companies and corporations. Under Article 4 the Minister is entitled to issue decrees for implementing the new Law, and it is anticipated that detailed regulations will be issued in due course. Article 5 provides that the Central Bank of Egypt and the entire banking system is under the control of the Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, as is the Insurance Council. Of particular importance to foreign investors, the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, charged with implementing Law No. 43, is also subordi- nated to the Minister, as is the General Authority for the Money Market, the General Authority for Control of Exports and Imports, the General Authority for Arbitration and Cotton Tests, the General Authority for the Development of Cotton Gins, and the General Authority for Exhibitions and International Fairs. This new Law, dated 19 January 1988, and published in the Official Gazette of 28 January 1988, is a logical consequence of the 1987 Law No. 510 re-organising the Ministry of International Co-operation. Egypt has responded to representations by foreign governments and investors, as well as pressure from within the country, indi- cating that reform of the bureaucratic nature of the Ministry of Economy is long over- due. Law No. 40 of 1988 lays down the framework for greater efficiency, but much will depend on the regulations issued by the Minister, and comment on whether or not the re-organisation will be a success as quickly as is hoped by the Government must await publication of those regulations. MSWH
Arab Law Quarterly – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1988
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