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Making Reforms Succeed

Moving Forward with the MENA Investment Policy Agenda

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This publication highlights key outcomes of the work of the MENA-OECD Investment Programme from 2005-2007, including reforms achieved to date in investment policies and promotion, corporate governance, financial-sector development, and tax policies. It also contains information on the Programme’s activities, highlighting business-climate developments in MENA countries. The MENA-OECD Investment Programme was created to facilitate a peer dialogue focused on investment policy reform in co-operation with OECD members.

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One-Stop Shops for Business Formation in the MENA Region

Time consuming and burdensome procedures for establishing a business are often cited as obstacles in business surveys on the investment climate in OECD and non-OECD countries alike. Requirements to acquire licenses for establishment and conduct of a business are used by all governments for a variety of reasons. However, amongst OECD members, data suggests that different countries use it to differing degrees: some administer a few hundred licences, while other, several thousand. There is a strong argument to reduce the burden on business caused by excessive use of licenses since they create barriers to new start-ups, hamper innovation and cause market distortions by creating an incentive to the investor to lobby regulators for anti-competitive practices. Transparency problems seem to be another key challenge faced by business confronted with overly burdensome licensing requirements.

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