Business Startup Registration Automation Outline at Alexandria One Stop Shop (GAFI)
The Private Enterprise Partnership – Middle East and North Africa (PEP-MENA) is a major donor-funded program providing technical assistance for the private sector in the Middle East region. The program covers 19 countries, and is managed by the International Financial Corporation (IFC) regional office in Cairo. The PEP-MENA program is structured along four thematic pillars, namely: Financial Markets, SME Development, Business Enabling Environment, Privatization and Public-Private Partnerships.
As part of its interventions to improve the business environment, IFC PEP-MENA Business Enabling Environment pillar has a program designed specifically to simplify procedures related to the setting-up of private businesses. This Business Start-up Simplification program aims to reduce the regulatory burden on the private sector, especially SMEs, through restructuring the relevant business registration procedures.
IFC PEP-MENA program has chosen the Govern orate of Alexandria, Egypt as the location for such a start-up simplification project. The Government of Egypt (GoE) is already engaged in several initiatives throughout the country to simplify business start-up procedures and the Govern orate of Alexandria has taken a particularly pro-active role in this respect, working closely with General Authority For Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) and donor agencies in the establishment of several one-stop-shop facilities to make Alexandria a more attractive investment location.
To enhance its business infrastructure, the Govern orate was interested in simplifying business registration procedures for investors and was looking to upgrade GAFI’s Investment Services Complex (the One-Stop-Shop) in Alexandria which serves the three govern orates of Beheira, Alexandria and Matrouh.
In addition, the project was planned to support the automation of the business start-up processes at the OSS in Alexandria.
IFC PEP-MENA has contracted Megacom to outline a workable automated system taking into consideration the present work flows and the recent simplifications agreed upon between GAFI and the relevant line ministries. It was expected during the assignment that more simplifications would emerge throughout discussions between the project team, the consultant and the other agencies involved in the OSS.
Within the framework of this particular assignment, the design for a future automated system was limited to the necessary linkages and administrative functions across the agencies involved in the registration process.
In addition, analysis for the post registration and licensing procedures at the OSS would serve as the basis for defining the potential IT infrastructure needs and its associated cost.
The importance of this assignment rose from the fact that it formed one of the first work-steps to realize an electronic platform which will provide future investors with a fast, cost-effective and integrated path for the complete business start-up process.
It was envisioned that the OSS will ultimately develop as a best practice facility offering an on-line name search, electronic submission of forms, sharing of information across all concerned government agencies and one electronic tracking system of the application process.
The promoters of this project will pursue the longer-term objective of replicating this platform across other OSS facilities in Egypt, thus contributing to a substantial improvement of the investor’s perception of Egypt as an attractive investment location.