Hisham Ezz El-Arab, chairman and managing director of Cairo International Bank (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Hisham Ezz El-Arab, chairman and managing director of Cairo International Bank, Egypt's leading private bank, advocated for the creation of a national economic council at the Euromoney Conference held in Cairo on Tuesday.
Ezz El-Arab stated that such a council would trace the country's economic identity in the same way similar councils in in Indonesia and Japan have.
"Egypt does not have an economic identity; is it socialist? capitalist? Social-capitalist? We need to have an idea where the country will be in 50 years," he said.
Ezz El-Arab called for the council to be independent and for board members to change continuously. The idea is to forge what he calls "the country's economic DNA" instead of changing orientation with every minister.
He recalls all the phases by which Egypt has passed during its recent history from socialism to open market to controlled economy with no clear global or continuous vision.
"We need a target," the banker said, adding that he believes Egypt can aim to join the G20 by 2020.