Oxford Business Group launches 2020 analysis of Country’s economy
By; Nelly All
Egypt’s efforts continue its broad based economic reform programme through sectorial reforms aimed at boosting private-sector growth and attracting investment, while moving swiftly to mitigating the impact of Covid-19, are analysed in a new report by the global research and advisory firm Oxford Business Group (OBG).
The Report: Egypt 2020 explores the most recent ambitious structural reform initiatives, which prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, had successfully catalysed Egypt’s growth and improved its fiscal standing, which are now providing strong fundamentals to face the challenges of the pandemic.
OBG provides in-depth analysis of on-going developments in Egypt’s energy and utilities sector, which has seen Egypt become the largest destination for FDI in Africa. The sector is also crucial the country’s sustainable development agenda, in light of an estimated population growth of 2.3m annually. Topical issues examined include the development of the New Administrative Capital and fourth generation cities, as well as the expansion of industrial zones and infrastructure that are expected to spread opportunities far beyond Cairo. Steps are being taken against this backdrop to enhance training and education, while sharpening the focus on financial inclusion, SMEs and the development of a private sector driven economy. OBG also considers the central role that digitalisation and bureaucratic reforms are expected to play in supporting the ease of conducting business, especially after the onset of Covid-19.
With the recent ratification of the Africa Intercontinental Free Trade Area agreement, the report maps out the steps being taken to make Egypt a logistics, manufacturing and energy hub in the region and gateway to Africa. The AfCTA agreement has the potential to contribute to renewed trade and economic growth on the continent in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Other areas of the economy analysed include ICT and innovation industry, which is spearheading Egypt’s digital transformation, supported by automation and smart technologies.
In addition, OBG charts the growth witnessed in the country’s transport sector, buoyed by a raft of road, rail and port infrastructure projects which are helping to strengthen both international connectivity and urban mobility.
The Report: Egypt 2020 contains a viewpoint by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, together with a detailed sector-by-sector guide for investors.
It also features a wide range of interviews with other high-profile personalities, including: Mohamed Maait, Minister of Finance; Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Executive Director of the General Authority of Investment and Free Zones; Mohammed Omran, Chairman of the Financial Regulatory Authority; and Yehia Zaki, Chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone.
Commenting ahead of the launch, Oliver Cornock, OBG’s Editor-in-Chief, said that while the Covid-19 pandemic was a significant challenge for parts of the Egyptian economy, current forecasts of economic growth at 2% suggest strong fundamentals that will allow a swift recovery of lost gains post pandemic.
“In spite of significant downward revisions in MENA regional growth forecasts for 2020, Egypt has been able to balance containment measures with continued economic expansion” he said. “However, Egypt’s recent achievements as highlighted by 5.6% GDP growth in the 2018/19 fiscal year, will need to continue apace in order develop the positive investment environment and level playing field needed to successfully attract investment in a globally competitive environment.”
Karine Loehman, OBG’s Managing Director for Africa, noted that: “e-commerce is one area of the economy benefiting from the preventative measures introduced to help contain the spread of Covid-19.”
“The government’s moves to increase investment by 64% to $17.3bn in the draft budget for the 2020/21 fiscal year will help to mitigate the impact of a potential short-term decline in private sector investment” she said. “Over the long-term, Egypt is expected to return to its ambitious 2030 Vision as the roadmap for sustainable and diversified economic growth.”
The Report: Egypt 2020 marks the culmination of more than 12 months of field research by a team of analysts from Oxford Business Group. The publication assesses trends and developments across the economy, including those in health and education, infrastructure, banking, energy and others.
The Report: Egypt 2020 has been produced with GAFI, HC Securities, Egyptian Businessmen’s Association (EBA), RSM Egypt and Helmy, Hamza & Partners. A three-chapter preview is available online now HERE and the full digital and print editions will be available in the coming weeks.
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