FJP head tells US Egypt's economy in safe hands, predicts election win

Ahmed Eleiba, Monday 10 Sep 2012

Egypt's new government is committed to building investments and lowering the budget deficit, Brotherhood leader and FJP head Essam El-Erian tells US economic officials

Essam el-Erian
Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood senior Essam el-Erian talks during a press conference in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, 6,Feb, 2011. (Photo: AP)

The head of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) has told visiting US officials that Egypt's economy is in safe hands, and predicted further wins for the Islamist group in parliamentary elections slated for late 2012.

Essam El-Erian, a Muslim Brotherhood veteran and president of the FJP, met on Monday with Michael Froman, the US deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs.
Froman is visiting Egypt with a delegation of more than 100 American business executives led by the US Deputy Secretary of State.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, El-Erian said that he had assured Froman that Egypt's government is commited to achieving political and economic stability. 
Building an investment-friendly climate and slashing the budget deficit to half its current level of 9 per cent are key to these plans, the FJP head added.
El-Erian also predicted a strong showing for the FJP in the next elections for Egypt's Parliament, likely to take place in late 2012.
"We getting ready... and we expect to take the lead," he told reporters.
The FJP won around 47 per cent of seats in Egypt's People's Assembly in last winter's elections. The lower house was dissolved in mid-June following a ruling from the country's constitutional court.
El-Erian was tight-lipped when it came to details of his discussions with the US delegation, saying only that they touched upon economic policy, and the future of investment in Egypt. 
He went on to suggest that 9 million Egyptians living abroad want to invest in the country.
"Around 30 per cent of Egypt's economy is informal, and this is [also] something we will work on," El-Erian said.
The US delegation and the FJP also discussed the status of Egypt's new constitution, currently being drafted by a court-contested Constituent Assembly.
While talking of preparations for elections that while decide the make-up of Egypt's next parliament, El-Erian said that the FJP was still awaiting the Supreme Administrative Court's decision on the fate of the dissolved parliament's lower house. 
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