CAIRO - 24 October 2022: The second day of Egypt's economic conference witnessed a session, entitled,” the state ownership policy document and supporting competition policies.
Vice Minister of Finance for Fiscal Policies and Institutional Reform, Ahmed Kouchouk, stated that Egypt aims to increase the role of the private sector and its contribution to the economy, adding that the private sector will have access to major investment opportunities in the next few years.
Kouchouk pointed out that the private sectors contributions aren’t only limited to selling, transfer of ownership or partnerships as there are other various means for contribution.
Previous tourism minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour emphasized the significance of the state ownership policy document in regards to allowing the private sector to play a vital role in the country’s economic development, adding that it’s crucial to study the social, political and economic impact of all the details included in the policy in order to deem it as effective.
Abdel Nour also requested the prioritization of the exiting through initial public offering (IPO) of stocks to expand ownership base, clarifying that selling to a strategic investor alone adds more burdens to the balance of payments compared to external debt, as most of the times the percentage of profits distribution is bigger than the interest rates on loans.
Moreover, he stated that committing to transferring of profits increases the lifespan of the company, contrary to debts which are bounded by the span of the loan.
Meanwhile Abdel Nour briefly talked about the huge potential for Egyptian tourism in lights of the energy crisis in Europe, demonstrating that the warm Egyptian weather during winter can be used as a strong attraction factor for European tourists.
For his part, private sector representative and chairman of food expert council Hani Berzi explained that the Egyptian private sector can create a vast number of job opportunities and contribute to the increase of the gross domestic product (GDP), adding that increasing Egyptian imports to $100 billion isn't a goal that's out of reach, as the Egyptian food industry, which managed to grow by 19 percent during the pandemic, is qualified to lead such a growth in imports.
Berzi called for a fixed strategy not affected by ministerial change, which in return negatively affects the country's private sector. Moreover, he emphasized on coordinating with the private sector before implementing any new policies or fees to ensure the competitiveness of Egyptian products.
On supporting competition policies , Kouchak said that markets and competition regulations are at the top of the priorities list, as Egypt, just like many developing countries is working on developing its markets and increasing its competitiveness to attract investments. “Such regulations include improving the legislative aspect in order to guarantee an environment with fair competition and no bias.”
Chairman of Egyptian Competition Authority, Mahmoud Momtaz, revealed that in order to support competition policies, the Authority formulated the Competitive neutrality strategy which aims to create a healthy, competitive economy in lights of Egypt’s 2030 vision, in addition to a higher committee chaired by the prime minister Mostafa Madbouli with the same objective.
The Egyptian Economic Conference 2022 kicked off on Sunday at Al-Massa Hotel in the New Administrative Capital to discuss the situation and future of Egypt’s economy amid consecutive economic crises across the world.
The Economic Conference, which runs from 23 to 25 October, is organized by the government with the directives of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and the participation of a large number of economic experts and intellectuals.
The conference agenda is packed with many sessions and events over its three days, according to three main tracks. The first track includes macroeconomic policies, while the second track focuses on empowering the private sector and creating a business environment.