Exit from some economic sectors does not mean the state will sell its assets, says PM

Ahram Online , Monday 24 Oct 2022

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said the state's plan to exit from some economic sectors does not necessarily mean it will sell its assets. Its plan rather aims to set a framework regulating the relationship between the government and the private sector, he explained.

PM Madbouly
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly speaking on Monday during a session tackling the recently announced State Ownership Policy Document on the second day of the Economic Conference.


Madbouly was speaking on Monday during a session tackling the recently announced State Ownership Policy Document on the second day of the Economic Conference.


The document, still under discussion, identifies the economic sectors from which the state plans to withdraw, decrease, or increase its presence over the coming three years.

The state seeks to exit from some sectors in the medium term, Madbouly noted.

Several mechanisms are in hand to apply the document, Madbouly said, explaining that they include listing the asset on the Egyptian Exchange or allowing local or foreign investors to expand and boost its capital and be in charge of the management.

In such cases, the state maintains the ownership of the assets while granting the rights of full management and operation to the private sector, he added.

"If we eventually find it necessary to sell an asset, it will be sold under one of seven or eight mechanisms," he pointed out.

The document complements the reforms adopted by the Egyptian state, as it seeks to implement the second phase of the country’s 2021 structural reform programme.

Madbouly said the state wants to empower the private sector.

He noted that Egypt needs new investments to increase its growth rates to overcome the challenge of population growth. Egypt's population increases by over two million annually, he said.

Investments primarily come from the private sector, but if it cannot cover all the economic sectors, the state steps in to bridge the gap resulting from the population growth, he pointed out.

This is why, Madbouly asserted, the state is keen to set a clear document to regulate the relationship with the private sector and guarantee the competitive neutrality.

Egypt seeks, via the document, to attract $40 billion in investment by 2026.

The government will run a three-month societal dialogue soon and allow all sides to comment on it, he added.

In June, the government launched a digital platform for experts and members of the business community to discuss with the government the document.

Senior government officials, high-profile economists, intellectuals, thinkers, specialists, businessmen, as well as representatives of more than 80 political parties and parliament members are attending the Economic Conference.

The conference is the fourth of its kind in Egypt in the past four decades, the last of which was in 2015 amid the start of economic reforms and waves of terrorist attacks that hit the country, Madbouly said in the opening session of the event.

The conference kicked off on Sunday in the New Administrative Capital east of Cairo in the presence of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and will run through Tuesday.

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