Egypt Economic Development Conference: Opportunities and Challenges
Egypt will host the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm El Sheikh on March 13-15, 2015, the Egyptian government announced. The conference will cover three themes for economic reform: First, reduction of budget deficit and fiscal discipline, reform of tax system and reduce expenditures, boost state revenues and exploit natural resources in the country. Second attract direct investments, while the third theme covers bridging the finance gap and boost balance of payments. The Egyptian government aims for sustainable real growth and ultimately improve the social welfare of the Egyptian people. Egypt’s Finance Minister said the projects to be introduced during the conference are public and will be implemented through partnership with the private sector with the support of international expertise houses. These projects include river transportation projects, development of Safaga port and establish industrial and service projects around the port. The paper is divided into five parts: • Points of strength in the current landscape; • The most important challenges facing this conference; • The most important opportunities provided by the conference; • The most important possible scenarios about holding the conference; • Recommendations to minimize risks and maximize opportunities. First: Points of Strength in the Current Landscape: The following are some of the points of strength in the run up for the conference next March: • Egypt hosts the first professional international event since Jan. 25, 2011 revolution. This well-prepared economic conference is one of the best indicators to show the world that Egypt’s economy is recovering; • Last year, Egypt hosted the Egyptian-Gulf Investment Forum attended by almost 500 Gulf, Egyptian and foreign businessmen and investors to restore investors’ confidence in Egypt’s economy. In the forum, Cairo presented 66 projects all over the country valued at more than $7billion. • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced a plan to help Egypt through a joint venture between US firms and a French bank to design an economic plan for the country where Abu Dhabi pays for the cost of the studies. This plan is a huge economic opportunity for Cairo to put creative solutions for the country’s hardships. The projects will have a definite timetable, which provides decision-makers with a clear vision. This will also be a recognition of Egypt’s economic reforms; hence, improves its stand with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and helps to improve the country’s credit rating. • Kuwaiti Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs said his country would participate actively in this economic conference. He reiterated that Kuwait is one of the biggest investors in Egypt and intends to boost these investments.
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