Business Advisory Council (BAC)
The Egyptian National Competitiveness Council (ENCC) is a non-profit policy advocacy group established in 2005 by a number of Egyptian businessmen committed to improving Egypt’s competitiveness. The objective is to promote the active engagement of the business sector and other stakeholders from academia and civil society with the government in addressing the competitiveness issues that Egypt faces.
ENCC has since its establishment engaged in bottom-up multi-stakeholder dialogue and consultations on economic reforms with decision makers and relevant stakeholders, relying on demonstrated evidence in its advocacy process. As a policy advocacy group, ENCC believes in the importance of promoting the multi-stakeholder participatory approach for the success of economic reforms.
In an effort to strengthen this approach at the national level, ENCC has proposed the creation of a Business Advisory Council (BAC), to be formed from a coalition of Egypt’s top business associations and chambers, that would engage in dialogue with the government and other stakeholders on policy and regulatory reforms relevant to Egypt’s competitiveness and inclusive growth. The proposal was accepted by ENCC’s board on January 15, 2018. The BAC would become an influential platform for businesses to engage in evidence-based and coordinated public-private dialogue, rather than piece-meal lobbying of disparate organizations. Building a coalition of businesses under the BAC would also enhance the outreach of Egypt’s private sector advocacy efforts; enable greater efficiency and effectiveness by combining resources and various specializations; leverage the comparative advantage of each member organization; and avoid duplication.
| A. Proposed Objectives of the BAC
The Business Advisory Council members are leaders in business, government, renowned academia and CSOs who:
• Seek to facilitate policy advocacy by leveraging their professional networks, profile, reputation, experience and influence to enhance the engagement of the BAC with stakeholders from the wider community, with the objective of promoting evidence-based reforms that contribute to the country’s competitiveness.
• Improve links with all stakeholders and enhance multi-stakeholder engagement with businesses, the government and relevant stakeholders.
• Provide business perspectives on business environment/ competitiveness issues in Egypt to the government and the legislative body.
| B. Mode of operation
B.1 The BAC
• The set up of the BAC is informal.
• The BAC will have a Board that consists of a Chair and Vice Chair. ENCC will provide the technical and coordinating secretarial support to the BAC.
• The Business Advisory Council (BAC) convenes a minimum of 6 times a year.
• The BAC will create ad hoc committees, task forces, advisory or working groups as required, with a limited duration to review and research various issues and undertake dialogues, consultations and policy advocacy. The ENCC will support these groups from already existing sub-councils/ committees.
• The BAC will commission studies/ reports, and issue positions papers that will be relayed to the relevant stakeholders for advocacy through consultation meetings/ events.
• The task forces report back to the BAC Chairman and Vice Chairman.
B. BAC Membership
• Membership is open according the criteria set below in C.3.
• BAC membership is renewed annually.
• The Chair and the Deputy Chair are elected/ every 6 months from the BAC membership. (During the first year the Chair and Deputy Chair’s term will be 1 year).
• The Chair becomes Honorary Chair [for a period of one year after his/her term expires.
B.2 Roles and Responsibilities of Members
• The BAC Chair oversees the organization of and affairs of the BAC and is responsible for keeping the members informed on all issues that fall within its mission and objectives. The Deputy Chair assists with the duties of the Chair as required.
• The BAC selects and decides on the theme and topics to be advocated during the year, reflecting the role of business in addressing critical policy issues in Egypt supporting sustainable inclusive growth and competitiveness.
• BAC members mobilize the business sector across sectors as an active actor in promoting competitiveness enhancing policies.
• Members facilitate exchange of knowledge, ideas and experiences to identify best practices in promoting competitiveness.
• Members participate in conferences, meetings and events including as speakers.
• Advocacy is implemented through:
o Direct engagement with the stakeholders;
o Serving on a task force or working party to examine a specific issue;
o Developing and hosting events such as conferences, workshops and roundtables;
o Ensuring high quality of speakers and participants in the BAC and assume the role of panelists and/or moderators in the events wherever possible.
o Commissioning studies and papers that strengthen the position of the BAC on the issues addressed in the annual program.
o Participating in fundraising and sponsorship activities.
• Other BAC members should:
o Engage with identified stakeholders
o Serve on committees or advisory groups
o Help recruit new members
o Develop and support competitiveness issues
o Participate in fundraising and sponsorship activities
| C. BAC Membership Criteria
o Business Federations and Associations such as the FEI and the ABA.
o Business Associations in the governorates
o Women Associations
| D. Financing
The cost of operations of the BAC secretariat is borne by 2 USAID projects for 1 year, possibly 5 years. Annual fees to be agreed after the first year depending on the availability of donor financing.a