The government will launch “The Four Year Programme for Investment and Development” during the Economic Summit scheduled to be held in March 2015 in Sharm El-Sheikh.
The programme will put the Egyptian economy on the road to sustainable growth, according to Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb.
Mehleb said, during a press conference held by CI Capital investment group Sunday, the summit is a call for the private sector to participate developing and restructuring current and new sectors. This will occur alongside a government effort to lay out a regulatory framework ensuring the fair distribution of growth revenues.
He explained that the government is working on four axes. The first is to view the regulatory environment governing economic activity in Egypt, and implement a package of laws and regulations to improve the business environment.
He revealed that the new investment law will legally provide the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) with the ability to provide approvals and project implementation. The law will also create the ‘one-stop shop’ investment window system, and an investor protection law prohibiting a third unrelated party from suing investors. It will also provide a dispute settlement mechanism to resolve investment disputes, in addition to a bankruptcy law ensuring a safe exit for investors.
Mehleb said the second axis is the implementation of a variety of large projects that achieve positive growth for different areas and sectors. They include the new Golden Triangle development project and the National Roads Project, amongst others.
He stated that the third axis of these governmental steps is in the energy field, where the legal and economic framework for developing renewable energy is being implemented. The feed-in tariff was approved, and a new system of smart cards is to be implemented soon to ration use of energy products.
He said: “The new electricity law is underway, and the sector now is more open to private sector participation in both fields of development and distribution.”
The fourth axis is represented in financial reforms, as the implementation of a comprehensive programme is underway. The programme aims to reduce the budget deficit to 10% of total local production by finding new income sources from unutilised sectors and redirecting this toward social and investment spending, according to Mehleb.
He added: “We aim to reduce public debt to 85% compared to 95% and ensure a more balanced debt structure with a diversity of financing sources. The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has been successful in containing inflation and exchange rates, and today, we have a system that truly ensures recapitalisation through an investor-friendly mechanism.”
Mehleb explained that Egypt is close to completing the third and final parts of the roadmap, and with that, Egypt will become a modern civil democratic country. The Egyptian administration is facing economic challenges by initiating a real legislature and administrative reforms while fighting terrorism at the same time with power and determination.
Mehleb said that there is no single reform programme to fit all economies. He said, however, that the Egyptian economic reform programme, aiming to achieve sustainable economic growth and quality, is based on three fundamental pillars: overall development, transparency, and good governance.
The prime minister said integrated growth requires a new generation of human resources with an adequate level of high-quality education, health services, and work circumstances that lead to increased productivity. Thus the government is working to integrate the informal sector into the economy, as the sector has contributed greatly to supporting economic activities, even in times when growth rates fell.
He emphasised the fact that the government realises the importance of small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs), which represent the majority of Egypt’s private sector. Mehleb said they are working to facilitate their integration into the financial system and support them by developing financial and administrative infrastructure.
Mehleb stressed that the government is working hard to raise standards of living and fight poverty through expanding and supporting social safety nets as well as education and economic policy.