Egypt’s Economic Conference examines increasing private sector’s role in country’s economy

Doaa A.Moneim , Monday 24 Oct 2022

Raising the private sector’s contribution to Egypt’s GDP and creating an environment for them to play a greater role in the country’s economy were the key issues on the second day of Egypt’s Economic Conference, held on Monday.

Egypt s Economic Conference


The three-day Egypt Economic Conference kicked off on Sunday under the patronage and in presence of Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi under the theme “Roadmap for a More Competitive Economy.”

During the second day of the conference, Head of the General Authority for Free Zones and Investment (GAFI) Mohamed Abdel-Wahab showcased the procedures GAFI had adopted to attract more investments.

These procedures include reducing the time to release operating licenses for investment projects to 20 days as well as easing the stay-related procedures for foreign investors to five years with a possibility of renewal.

Finance Ministry Deputy for Financial Policies Ahmed Kojok said that Egypt’s State Ownership Policy Document is an economic constitution meant to raise the private sector’s contribution to public investments and maximise its production and export capabilities.

Kojok noted that the document also aims to increase the competitiveness of the Egyptian private sector in regional and international markets, as well as boost the sector’s contribution to the country’s development process.

“Outlined by some 10,000 economic experts, the document proposes various mechanisms for participation with the private sector to achieve the highest economic returns on state assets,” said Kojok.

He also stressed that the government is seeking to provide big investment opportunities in promising sectors for businesspeople to benefit from the improved infrastructure.

The document aims to increase the private sector’s share in local economic activity and investments from 30 percent to 65 percent over the coming three years, the official said.

“The government is planning to exit from 79 business sectors and to lower its investments in 45 others for the interest of the private sector,” Kojok mentioned.

The conference touched upon the real-estate development sector as of the key areas of the private sector business in Egypt.

In this regard, Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development Assem El-Gazzar said that the state is significantly boosting the sector and is acting to increase its supply, adding that the real-estate sector has lots of investment potential that could be tapped.

The minister also pointed out that the Egyptian state plans to reduce its investments in the real-estate sector, calling on the private sector to play a greater role, including in social housing projects.

For his part, Deputy of the Housing Committee in the House of Representatives Tarek Shoukry noted that the ongoing global economic crisis and the associated supply chain disruption have led to an increase in the cost of construction inputs as well as decreasing the individuals’ purchasing power, both of which has affected the sector negatively.

In this respect, Shoukry called for easing procedures to purchase housing units for citizens as well as promoting real-estate exports, which could add $3 billion to the country’s GDP.

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