Wed, 27 Jan 2021 - 03:35 GMT
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 - 03:35 GMT
CAIRO - 27 January 2021: Egypt’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development Dr. Hala El-Said participated recently in the activities of the regular meeting of the“British Investors Forum” in Egypt, in a session entitled "Business Environment and Strategic Initiatives".
During the session, El-Said addressed expectations and opportunities for the situation of the Egyptian economy after the Corona crisis, with the participation of the British Ambassador to Egypt Jeffrey Adams, British officials, investors and representatives of companies operating in Egypt.
The forum is a channel of communication between Egyptian officials, leading British companies, and major British investors, to encourage investment and economic growth between the two countries.
During her speech at the session, El-Said said that the Egyptian state followed a proactive strategy to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic, as it took all necessary measures to mitigate the negative effects of the crisis on the groups most affected by the repercussions.
El-Said indicated that the plan to confront Corona aimed at achieving a balance between preserving the citizen's health and the continuation of the wheel of economic activity, reviewing the proactive policies taken by the government, which relied on a clear and thoughtful plan targeting all social groups.
El-Said pointed out that Egypt achieved a growth rate of 5.4% in the first three quarters of 19/2020 and before the outbreak of the pandemic, explaining that reform efforts and the diversification of the Egyptian economy in sectors have helped in the resistance of the negative effects of the pandemic.
She added that the Egyptian economy became more resilient and can absorb external economic shocks, including the increasing regional dangers.
El-Said added that the expectations of international institutions were positive regarding the Egyptian economy, which is the only economy in the region and among the few economies in the world that achieved positive growth rates in light of the crisis.
She noted that Egypt achieved a growth rate of 3.6%.
El-Said confirmed that the unemployment rate is currently 7.3%, down from 9.6% in the fourth quarter of last year, while foreign exchange reserves rose to $40 billion, after declining to $36 billion last May during the first wave of the epidemic.
Also, Egypt achieved an initial surplus in the first half of 2020/2021, as the total budget deficit narrowed to 3.6% from 4.1% in the same period last fiscal year, while state revenues increased by 16% on an annual basis, to compensate for the 10% increase in expenditure required during a pandemic.
El-Said stressed that the Corona pandemic has demonstrated the necessity of resettling some industries, including medical products and increasing self-sufficiency ratios, in addition to deepening agricultural industrialization and localizing products of the telecommunications sector, trains and railway supplies, home appliances, and furniture industries.
“The Egyptian government has adopted a national strategy for the transition to a green economy; Egypt was at the forefront of the countries in the region that issued green bonds in international markets,” El-Said explained.
El-Said stressed the state's determination to move forward to complete the comprehensive and sustainable reform and development process that requires years of serious and continuous work in cooperation between all development partners from the private sector and civil society with the government.
"Structural reforms aim to diversify the structure of the Egyptian economy, increase its flexibility, raise the ability to absorb external and internal shocks, as well as transform the Egyptian economy into a productive economy that is based on knowledge and has competitive capabilities in the global economy," El-Said said.
About The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (TSFE), El-Said said that the fund was established as one of the mechanisms to create more effective partnership opportunities between the public and private sectors and create wealth for future generations by maximizing the utilization of the value inherent in the exploited and untapped assets in Egypt.
El-Said indicated that the fund has established a group of sub-funds specialized in various fields, including a sub-fund for various health services, another for infrastructure and infrastructure, a sub-fund for financial services and digital transformation, in addition to a sub-fund for tourism and real estate investment, and more sub-funds will be established according to priorities of the state in the coming period.
El-Said added that the fund has succeeded since its inception in attracting investors and partners from home and abroad and signing agreements to enter into multiple partnerships despite the economic challenges that the recent period has witnessed, as the investment activity of the fund has started and investment partnerships have been concluded on all frameworks locally, regionally and internationally.
El-Said pointed out the fund’s cooperation with the General Authority for the Economic Zone of the Suez Canal and with private investors to settle the railway car industry, meet Egypt's needs, and provide great opportunities for export by signing the contract to establish the National Company for Railroad Industries (NERIC) between the General Authority for the Suez Canal Economic Zone, TSFE, and several Egyptian private sector companies.
El-Said added that the fund also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Hassan Allam Holding Company, to inject joint investments, directly and indirectly, in projects in the sectors of electricity, water, infrastructure, and renewable energy.
“At the regional level, an investment platform was created with brothers in the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi Holding) worth $20 billion for joint investment in a variety of sectors and fields, most notably manufacturing industries, traditional and renewable energy, technology, food and real estate, tourism, health care, and Logistics, financial services, infrastructure,” El-Said said
Also, at the international level, TSFE signed a memorandum of understanding with ACTIS Long-life Company, for joint investment in the fields of energy and infrastructure.
On the Tahrir complex, El-Said explained that its ownership has been transferred - along with several other assets - to TSFE, and its drawings and feasibility studies have been completed, which refer to a multi-purpose place that includes a commercial and an administrative part.
“The goal of developing the Tahrir Complex is to benefit the state and provide an added value to the square itself, in addition to raising the value of the building and making it more attractive to investors, with the importance of diversification in the uses of the building to ensure a continuous return, whether from the hotel component or the commercial component of the building,” El-Said added.
The Tahrir area is a strong attraction for offices and companies due to its central location between East and West Cairo.
For his part, the British ambassador praised the achievements of the Egyptian state and the plan to deal and recover from the repercussions of the Coronavirus, noting that with rebuilding better after Covid-19, it is now more important than ever to strengthen the commercial relationship with Egypt and continue to enhance commercial opportunities for British investors in the Egyptian market.
After the end of her speech, Dr. Hala El-Said held an open dialogue with investors who inquired from her about investing in clean energy.
In response to these inquiries, El-Said indicated that the Egyptian state is currently attaching great importance to investing in renewable and clean energy.
El-Said added that there is a vision being prepared to expand the participation of the private sector and investors in clean energy production projects, as she explained in her answer to a question about desalination plants.
The private sector will have a major role in these stations within the framework of strengthening the partnership with the private sector, as the Minister indicated in her open dialogue with investors that the Egyptian state is striving for the percentage of green projects to reach 100% by 23/2024 and that these projects conform to environmental standards and sustainability standards.