‘The more we aid our clients’ growth, the more we gain’
Mohamed Nasser, founding partner of Mohamed Nasser Law Firm, explains why cultivating long-term relationships is essential for entering new markets
What are some of the most exciting opportunities in Egypt right now for Gulf-based companies?
Globally, companies have been looking to cut costs, especially after the coronavirus pandemic struck. Gulf-based companies can achieve this goal without compromising the quality of their service by relocating some of their departments to Egypt, where the cost of labour is significantly cheaper. They can continue serving the needs of their Gulf-based customers while saving at least 50 percent of the cost. We have successfully implemented this with one of our Saudi-based clients.
As for investments, while Egyptian law used to prohibit ownership of any company assets by a foreign individual, this is no longer the case. Now, as a foreign investors, you can own any company asset, including but not limited to land, buildings and factories. This is particularly positive for investments in the agriculture, industrial and real estate development sectors.
What are a few USPs for Mohamed Nasser when it comes to helping foreign investors enter Egypt?
We take pride in our speed of getting tasks done. All specialisations are available in our firm, and above all our main USP is our vision of cultivating a long-term partnership with clients, not one-time deals.
The more we aid their growth, the more we also gain. I consider myself their partner, not their lawyer. The better they do, the more it reflects positively on all of us.
Which Egyptian start-up sectors saw the biggest growth through 2020?
With people spending so much more time on their phones and looking to minimise human contact, online shopping and mobile apps offering all kinds of services saw the biggest boom. Many of these businesses managed to secure funding and round foreign investors to invest in their start-ups. Also, many restaurants opted to create their clients’ favourite dishes in a frozen line for home delivery – a necessary move on their part to stay afloat while people are unable to physically go to restaurants.
From our side, to cope with the coronavirus’ effect on businesses, we created an entirely new department for start-ups with revised fees so that we could all get through the rough phase together. We want to start with them and give them all the required legal assistance they need – as their business flourishes, their business with us will grow.
What are a few big projects you recently worked on?
We handled Aton Holding’s acquisition of Pharos Securities, which was one of the biggest acquisitions in Egypt last year. We finalised the licensing and transfer of ownership for a Dutch company to make Egypt’s biggest experimental station for agricultural seeds, which will be exported across North Africa. We successfully handled the establishing papers of several holding companies in two months – a process that previously would have taken up to six months.
One of our biggest deals was finalising the contract for a Colombian company that made a joint venture with the Egyptian government for recycling and garbage collection in Cairo.
Regional M&A activity slowed in 2020. What factors do you see driving its recovery through 2021?
I believe Egypt took the right decision by not implementing a total lockdown, and as these lockdowns ease worldwide, people will gain a clearer perspective of the future, and the fear that was hindering decision-making in investments or M&A will slowly vanish as things return to normal. Hopefully, widespread vaccinations will see things pick up quickly.