Cairo, Egypt (ILO News) As part of the efforts to promote the transition of enterprises to the formal economy and support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt, the Federation of Egyptian Industries and the ILO "Social Dialogue for Formalization and Employability in the Southern Neighbourhood (SOLIFEM) project", co-funded by the European Union (EU), conducted a workshop, on Tuesday November 14, 2023 in Cairo, focused on company registration procedures in Egypt.
The workshop aimed to present the gathered information on registration and compliance procedures for SMEs in Egypt, identify information gaps, errors, or inconsistencies, and engage relevant stakeholders to provide post-workshop support. The goal is to address these information gaps and develop a comprehensive training manual on formalizing enterprises and jobs in Egypt, adapting the ILO Formalize Your Business Training tool.
A diverse group of entities that were interviewed during the information collection phase, and other national stakeholders, experts in entrepreneurship development, and representatives from both formal and informal businesses participated in the workshop.
In his opening remarks, H.E. Ambassador Christian Berger, Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt, expressed his pleasure with the efforts made to facilitate the transition to the formal economy. He said “Our joint EU-ILO action (SOLIFEM) aims at supporting our partners in Egypt in enhancing the country’s economic resilience through formalization. The informal economy is considerable, and we are pleased to be witnessing the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) adopting action to facilitate the transition of businesses to formality, while taking into account, not only the registration procedures but also the human-centred approach which shed the light on working conditions of those in the informal economy.”
From his side, Mr. Eric Oechslin, Director of the ILO Decent Work Team for North Africa and ILO Country Office for Egypt and Eritrea said, “Our work in ILO is guided by Recommendation 204 that affirms that “the transition from the informal to the formal economy is essential to achieve inclusive development and to realize decent work for all and recognizes that employers’ and workers’ organizations play an important and active role in facilitating the transition from the informal to the formal economy.”
In a related context, Dr. El Sayed Torky, Senior adviser at the Federation of Egyptian Industries, conveyed his delight in the collaboration with the ILO and EU on this crucial topic. He said, “We recognize the negative impacts of the informal economy on the whole Egyptian economy, and we would like to build on this important training tool and promote it among our members as more than 95% of our members are SMEs and are highly affected by the informal sector.”
It is worth mentioning that the training manual, entitled "Formalize Your Business," aims to enhance the capacity of small and medium informal enterprises through Employers and Business Member Organizations. The manual comprises two parts: the first delves into generalities around the topic of formalization, while the second outlines procedures for registering an economic unit in Egypt and compliance with national requirements.