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What are the challenges?

Challenges when doing business in Egypt

Egypt has some unique challenges, including:

[Source – DIT/FCO/gov.uk]

 

Business risk

Bribery and corruption

Bribery is illegal. It is an offence for British nationals or someone who is ordinarily resident in the UK, a body incorporated in the UK or a Scottish partnership, to bribe anywhere in the world. In addition, a commercial organisation carrying on a business in the UK can be liable for the conduct of a person who is neither a UK national or resident in the UK or a body incorporated or formed in the UK. In this case it does not matter whether the acts or omissions which form part of the offence take place in the UK or elsewhere.

Rampant corruption has been one of the major causes of discontent which forced Egyptians to take to the streets in 2011. On most global indices, Egypt ranks below the regional average for MENA countries and behind its peers.

The OECD recognises corruption as a serious issue for business operations in Egypt. The findings of the Business Climate Development Strategy show that anti-corruption is the area in which Egypt is least compliant with international best practices.

Transparency International ranked Egypt 117th out of 180 countries in its 2017-18 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). See: https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_perceptions_index_2017#table. Global Integrity and Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom echo Egypt’s weak performance on integrity indicators.

Visit the Business Anti-Corruption portal at: http://www.business-anti-corruption.com/country-profiles/egypt for procedures you can establish to protect your company from corruption risks.

You can also find information on the UK Government’s website on bribery and corruption at: https://www.gov.uk/anti-bribery-policy.

[Source – FCO Overseas Business Risk/gov.uk]

Intellectual Property

IP rights are territorial, that is they only give protection in the countries where they are granted or registered. If you are thinking about trading internationally, then you should consider registering your IP rights in your export markets.

Egypt is signatory to the main Intellectual Property Conventions (Rome, Paris, Berne and Washington). Egypt passed a new IP law in June 2002, bringing practices in line with WTO Law 82 of 2002.

Patents are registered at the Egyptian Patent Office, see: http://www.egypo.gov.eg/default.aspx and trademarks at the Department of Trade Registry at the Ministry of Trade and Investment at: http://www.mti.gov.eg/English/Pages/default.aspx.

Trademark counterfeiting, copyright piracy and patent infringements remains a major problem in Egypt. Enforcement of IP law is not strong.

The Egyptian Center for Intellectual Property and Information Technology (ECIPIT) can help provide information for IP related queries. See: http://ecipit.org.eg/English/homepage_E.aspx.

Egypt is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and further information can be found in its WIPO country profile at: http://www.wipo.int/directory/en/details.jsp?country_code=EG.

Information is provided on the UK Government’s Intellectual Property page at: https://www.gov.uk/intellectual-property-an-overview, and at the Intellectual Property Office – the UK Government agency providing free and impartial advice on protecting and registering your IP in the UK and abroad. See: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/intellectual-property-office.

Egypt’s Intellectual Property Rights Index (IPRI) score increased by 0.09 to 4.43 in 2017, placing it 12th in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and 101st in the world. See: https://www.internationalpropertyrightsindex.org/country/egypt.

[Source – FCO Overseas Business Risk/gov.uk]


 

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