• March 30, 2010

US Dep. of Commerce warns of Egypt corruption

US Dep. of Commerce warns of Egypt corruption

 The Commerce department advised companies to conduct inquiries about their partners “before putting their money” to the country.

The department described the cases of corruption as “politically motivated” adding that a US Commerce Department a report titled “Doing business in Egypt, a guide for American companies 2010? said that the widespread corruption raises concerns, which in turn leads to “great inefficiency in the process of trade.”

It added that potential American investors must “be doing investigations and review the annals of potential partners before doing any significant commitments with Egypt.”

The Department said that the the charges of corruption set up by the government is not targeting foreigners or foreign investors in particular, but targets, according to the report, “officials who are at odds with the Government itself,” and added that there are indications that the lawsuits filed in the courts were politically motivated, “in the sense that the corruption cases have tended to be filed against people who entered a feud with the government.”

The report continued saying that Egypt has good laws against corruption, however it argued that “although the law provides criminal penalties for corrupt officials, the government does not enforce the law regularly or efficiently, as the immunities of some officials prevents laws from being enforced.”

The report quoted unnamed observers as saying that the Central Auditing Organization is “inactive.” The report stated a number of instances of corruption at the level of junior officials such as embezzlement, bribery, fraud and modification of government documents and manipulating them.

However, the department said that corruption, “although this did not represent a major obstacle so far in terms of US investment, despite the fact that American investors have told us about cases of corruption of junior staff in the Egyptian government, they did not do define corruption as one of the major barriers to foreign investment.”

The United States is Egypt’s largest investment, with billions of dollars annually flowing into and out of the North African nation.

Republished with Permission from Bikya Masr