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The new Constitution's economic principles

For investors and businessmen, it is important to understand the paragraphs that will affect the way business has been done in Egypt.
Gehad Hussein | 13.12.2012
Egypt will cast its vote in the referendum on the 15th of December 2012, in order to evaluate the legitimacy of the coming constitution.

As for investors and businessmen, it is important to understand the paragraphs that will affect the way business has been done in Egypt.

This is an unofficial translation of the new constitution's paragraphs that are directly and indirectly connected to the manner of doing business and the economy in Egypt - via Egypt Independent (

Chapter Three: Economic Principles

Article 14
National economy shall be organized in accordance with a comprehensive, constant development plan, ensuring the increase of national income, enhancement of standard of living, elimination of poverty and unemployment, increase of work opportunities, and increase of production.
The development plan shall establish social justice and solidarity, ensure equitable distribution, protect consumer rights, and safeguard the rights of workers, dividing development costs between capital and labor and sharing the revenues justly.
Wages shall be linked to production, bridging income gaps and establishing a minimum wage that would guarantee decent living standards for all citizens, and a maximum wage in civil service positions with exemptions regulated by law.

Article 15
Agriculture is an essential asset of the national economy. The State shall protect and increase farmland, work on the development of crop and plant varieties, develop and protect animal breeds and fisheries, achieve food security, provide the requirements of agricultural production, its good management and marketing, and support agricultural industries.
The law regulates the use of land, in such a way as to achieve social justice, and protect farmers and agricultural laborer from exploitation.

Article 16
The State is committed to the development of the countryside and the desert, working to raise the standard of living of the farmers and the people of the desert.

Article 17
Industry is an essential asset of the national economy. The State shall protect strategic industries, support industrial development, and import new technologies and their applications.
The State shall foster small handicraft industries.

Article 18
The natural resources of the State belong to the people, who have a right to their revenues. The State is committed to preserving such resources for future generations and putting them to good use.
State property is not to be disposed of. The franchise to use, or the commitment to a public utility, can only be granted according to legal regulations.
All money with no owner belongs to the State.

Article 19
The Nile River and water resources are a national wealth. The State is committed to maintaining and developing them, and preventing abuse. The use of such resources shall be regulated by law.

Article 20
The State shall protect its coasts, seas, waterways and lakes, maintain monuments and nature reserves, and remove any encroachments.

Article 21
The State guarantees and protects legitimate ownership of all kinds of public, cooperative and private property and endowments, as shall be regulated by law.

Article 22
Public funds are inviolable. It is a national duty of the State and society to safeguard them.

Article 23
The State shall support cooperatives in all forms and ensure their independence.

Article 24
Private property is inviolable and has a function in the service of national economy without deviation or monopoly. The right of inheritance shall be safeguarded. Private property may not be placed under sequestration except in cases specified by law, and with a court order. Ownership of property may not be removed except in cases where the public good requires and with just compensation paid in advance.
All of the above shall be regulated by law.

Article 25
The State is committed to reviving and encouraging the system of charitable endowments.?The way an endowment is established, the management of its funds, their investment and the distribution of proceeds to the beneficiaries, shall all be regulated by law, according to the terms of the trustee.

Article 26
Social justice is the foundation of taxation and other public finance duties.
Public taxes shall not be established, modified or repealed except by law. There shall be no exemptions except in the cases prescribed by law. No one shall be required to pay additional taxes or fees except within the limits of the law.

Article 27
Workers shall have a share of the management and profits of enterprises. They shall be committed in turn to the development of production, to protecting its means and to the implementation of plans in their production units, in accordance with the law.
Workers shall be represented on the boards of directors of public sector units within the limit of 50 percent of the number of members of these boards. The law shall guarantee for small farmers and small craftsmen 80 percent of membership on the boards of directors of agricultural and industrial cooperatives.

Article 28
Saving is encouraged and protected by the State. The State shall also safeguard insurance and pension funds, in accordance with legal regulations.

Article 29
Nationalization shall not be allowed except for in consideration of public interest, in accordance with the law and against fair compensation.

Article 30
Public sequestration of property shall be prohibited.
Private sequestration shall not be allowed except under a court judgment.
About the author: Gehad Hussein