By ; Nahla Makled - Bakinam Khaled
Egypt’s businesses have begun increasing the tempo of their operations in recent months, buoyed by the country’s prospects for economic recovery, with newly adopted digital solutions and access to credit helping them to elevate their performance, according to a new Covid-19 CEO Survey carried out by the global research and advisory company Oxford Business Group (OBG) in association with the real estate company Tatweer Misr, the leading Egyptian real estate Company, and the Global Appraisal Tech (GAT).
Titled “Next steps: After a historic year, where do Egyptian business leaders see things heading in 2021?”, the survey gauges the views of executives on the economic consequences of the pandemic, as well as their outlook for the near term on a company and country level.
Alongside the findings, the survey includes an in-depth analysis of the answers and the broader economic climate in which they were obtained by Harry van Schaick, OBG’s Regional Editor. The results of the survey can be viewed in full at https://oxfordbusinessgroup.com/blog/harry-van-schaick/obg-ceo-surveys/next-steps-where-do-egyptian-business-leaders-see-things
In an encouraging sign, given the challenging macroeconomic conditions across both emerging and more advanced markets, 71% of executives told OBG that their company is already operating at 61% capacity or above. Almost one-third (30%) had already returned to full operations by November 2020, with 36% expecting to be operating at 100% capacity by March 2021.
Bank loans - particularly those in local currency - remain the preferred source of capex financing amongst business leaders, according to OBG’s survey, highlighting the ample liquidity and high levels of capitalisation that lenders have, with a combined 40% of respondents selecting this as their favoured option, followed by internal financing (32%).
The findings also revealed that the majority (71%) of executives surveyed had sought out digital solutions to facilitate business continuity in the pandemic, suggesting that digitalisation efforts under way in Egypt are gathering momentum and reflecting trends witnessed worldwide.
OBG also asked business leaders for their views on whether Egypt’s recovery was likely to be driven by mostly internal or external factors. Almost half (48%) of respondents said they believe Egypt’s recovery will depend equally on domestic and international influences. Significantly, however, amongst the respondents who selected one over the other, the majority felt domestic factors would play a greater role than international influences in galvanising a recovery, implying confidence remains high amongst the business community in Egypt’s ability to navigate its future.