Cabinet launches 'Let's Think' initiative to develop foreign exchange resources

Ahram Online , Wednesday 2 Aug 2023

The Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC) of the Cabinet announced on Wednesday the launching of the "Let's Think for Our Country" initiative to create sustainable foreign exchange resources in Egypt.



The initiative, which is organized by the IDSC's Public Policy Forum in cooperation with UNICEF, aims to present 50 innovative ideas to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the Egyptian economy, read a statement.

The inauguration ceremony of the initiative was held on Wednesday in the presence of representatives of government agencies, private sector institutions, and international institutions.

The initiative includes a research competition to present specialized policy papers in five main axes, namely: promoting Egyptian exports, attracting foreign direct investment, boosting tourism sector revenues, maximizing remittance flows from Egyptians abroad, and increasing revenues from the Suez Canal.

The government hopes that these revenue streams, minus tourism, will bring in $83 billion in foreign currency during FY 2023/2024.

The activity saw the participation of 41 research teams and 40 experts representing dozens of Egyptian universities, agencies, ministries, and research centres.

The initiative also featured, for the first time, the participation of university students, enrolled in a three-month summer training program in public policy under the supervision of researchers and experts at the IDSC.

The ‘Let's Think for Our Country’ initiative aims to provide a link between researchers and decision-makers to craft a holistic vision for Egyptian public policy, noted the statement.

The initiative includes two tracks for participants: the first for experts, who presented policy papers and 50 ideas to enhance the competitiveness of the Egyptian economy; and the second for student participation.

According to recent remarks by Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait, Egypt’s public debts have declined from 114 percent of GDP in FY2013/14 to 82 percent in FY2021/22, before increasing to 88 percent in FY2022/23.

The latest increase can be attributed to “the Russia-Ukraine war that triggered rising interest rates which pressure the country's public finances and obliged the government to spend more on social welfare," Maait explained.

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