Egypt parliament approves foreign investment in infrastructure

Egypt’s parliament has passed a bill allowing infrastructure and public utilities projects to be assigned to the private sector, despite strong objections from 94 independent and opposition MPs who say the bill will open the door for foreign and Israeli intervention in projects affecting Egypt’s national security.

Wafd Party MP Taher Hozayen said the bill permits projects to be assigned to certain investors by direct order, which he described as corrupt.

Representatives of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) were however quick to defend the bill. “It is preposterous that the opposition keeps tarring all bills that the government submits with corruption,” said NDP Organizational Affairs Secretary Ahmed Ezz. “The direct order pertains to global companies with international expertise,” he explained, adding that this is a common procedure worldwide.

Hozayen suggested that infrastructure and utilities projects only be assigned to companies with 75 percent of their capital owned by Egyptians, while Ezz said the bill aims to attract foreign investments.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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