Complex Made Simple

Minister of International cooperation reviews Egypt economic strategy with IFIs ahead of March Economic Conference, invites cooperation and support

The Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr Naglaa El Ahwany, hosted a workshop with representatives of international financing institutions (IFIs) and foreign delegations in Egypt. The meeting was attended by a wide variety of delegates from around the globe including the UNDP, World Bank, IFC, EBRD and the Arab fund for Economic and Social Development. In addition bilateral delegates attended from a variety of European, GCC, Asian and American nations and their development bodies. This workshop comes in the context of Dr. Ahwany’s efforts to present highlights of Egypt’s medium term macroeconomic strategy to Egypt’s partners.

The Minister gave an overview of the structure of the upcoming Egypt Economic Development Conference, which will be held in Sharm El Sheikh in March 2015, under the auspices of President Sisi. The Minister called upon the institutions to cooperate with the Government of Egypt in promoting the conference, supporting the economic and social reforms, that will be implemented ahead of and after the conference, to promote sustainable , inclusive growth.

Speaking at today’s workshop, the Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Naglaa El-Ahwany, noted the importance of the EEDC: “The EEDC is a key milestone in Egypt’s ongoing Economic Reform Program. International financial institutions will have a key role to play at the conference and we look forward to welcoming these organizations in March.”

The Minister presented key targets of the medium term economic strategy, including real sustainable growth of 6% by FY2018/2019, reduce unemployment to single digit levels, bring inflation down to the CBE comfort zone of 6-8%, cut the budget deficit to 8 – 8.5% of GDP and debt to 80-85% of GDP. The government aims to boost domestic and foreign investment, increase value-added exports and further develop the country’s human capital.

The medium term strategy rests on two pillars: the restoration of fiscal sustainability and the creation of an enabling environment for private sector investment. In the short term these twin pillars will be buttressed with the external support of partner nations and institutions.

Fiscal consolidation will be achieved through revenue reform measures, restructuring taxes , complementing expenditure reforms focused on restructuring subsidies and wages to redirect public spending to pressing social issues and human capital development.

Improvements to the business climate will be implemented in the lead up to the conference, with a number of legislative reforms and the acceleration of dispute and arrears settlement.

High potential sectors, including energy and mining, housing and water, agriculture, tourism, industry, transportation and logistics and information and communication technology, will undergo reforms to attract local and foreign investment to spur growth and maximize social development.

International financial institutions pledged to help the Government of Egypt maximize benefits from the conference and lay a foundation for the implementation of the medium term economic restructuring plan to set Egypt on the path to higher equitable growth.