Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr was first assigned minister of international cooperation on 19 September 2015. She reformed the ministry through establishing two units—one for evaluation and monitoring and the other for policy development and strategic planning—aiming to raise the efficiency and effectiveness of official development assistance (ODA) to Egypt.
The first months of Nasr’s tenure as minister of international cooperation witnessed remarkable announcements of new financial agreements with many international partners, benefiting from her past experience at many international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
A few months after Nasr was sworn in as minister of investment and international cooperation on 16 February 2017, she decided to establish two units for following up on and solving investors’ complaints, as well as analysing the international assessments of Egypt’s business climate.
Nasr exerted many efforts to enhance the regulatory environment through many adjustments to a range of regulations and issuing new laws aimed at improving the Egyptian business climate.
The new Investment Law was one of the most important accomplishments for Nasr’s mandate as minister of investment. At the end of October 2017, the official state gazette published the cabinet’s decision of the draft investment law’s implementation after being approved by the Egyptian Parliament on 7 May 2017.
The new Investment Law offers foreign investors a bundle of incentives that include tax breaks and rebates. It also deals with bureaucratic problems and promises the simplification of procedures, as well as guarantees for investors.
Nasr has focused on strengthening Egypt’s ties with its existing international partners, as well as exploring new opportunities for cooperation, all through the establishment of mutually-beneficial partnerships. This has involved consolidating Egyptian-Gulf relationships, expanding and deepening ties with African states, and exploring new relationships with Asian partners.
As trust increased in Nasr’s projects and plans, Nasr was assumed to be the temporary minister for public sector affairs on 14 March 2017, becoming the first Egyptian female minister assuming three different ministerial portfolios at once.
Nasr made several international tours aimed at increasing foreign direct investments in order to activate economic growth and create new job opportunities.
Prior to becoming minister for international cooperation in 2015, Nasr was a member of the Economic Development Council of the Presidential Office, through which she provided economic consultations to the president and drafted several proposals for the development of Egypt’s economic policies, boosting economic development efforts, coordinating and streamlining development initiatives and programmes across different ministries and authorities, and ensuring the modernisation of the economic performance system.