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4. Barriers to investment
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The commercial sector of Egypt is not open to foreign investment. Foreign investors are not permitted to be engaged in cotton planting either. Foreign investment in military products, tobacco industry, alcoholic drinks and investment in Sinai should be examined and approved by the competent authorities. Operation in the areas of publication of newspapers and journals, satellites and remote sensing, companies affiliated to research institutes are subject to approval by the Council of Economic Ministers. Opening supermarkets and franchise stores should be examined and approved by the special committee.

Foreign nationals are not allowed to register companies operating import business or be involved in occupations of business agents dealing with bidding, commercial circulation and tourist guides. The new Labor Law of April 2003 stipulates that foreign nationals are not allowed to be engaged in activities involving employing or recruiting staff for enterprises. In construction and transport services where foreign investment is permitted, Egypt restricts the employment of non-Egyptian nationals to 10 percent of the personnel employed by a company which should be joint ventures with foreign ownership not exceeding 49 percent.

Egypt restricts foreign nationals to buy land. The company with a purpose of reclaiming desert should have an Egyptian ownership of no less than 51 percent. Upon liquidation, the land belongs to Egyptians.

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