Dr. Mohamed Maait, Minister of Finance, and Prof. Hossam El-Mallahy, President of Nahda University and Senator, attended the opening of the second edition of the Nahda Economic Forum on Sunday, March 5, 2023. The forum is organized by Nahda University in partnership with the Egyptian-African Businessmen Association under the theme “A Strategic Vision for Empowering the Private Sector and Enhancing Competitiveness.”
Attendance of the opening ceremony included Professor Dr. Magdi Abdelkader, Vice President of the University for Education and Student Affairs, Dr. Ahmed Elkhadrawi, Dean of the College of Business Administration at Nahda University, a group of economic experts, businessmen and women, and leaders of major Egyptian institutions and companies.
On his part, Dr. Mohamed Maait noted that there are intensive efforts by the government and the Ministry of Finance to consider the vast majority of citizens and work towards achieving social justice. Our country faces a crisis like many other countries in the world, especially non-oil-exporting developing countries. He added that he is keen to listen to all opinions that support the economy.
During Nahda Economic Forum titled “Strategic Vision towards Empowering the Private Sector and Increasing Competitiveness,” Dr. Mohamed Maait emphasized that supporting local and foreign investment is an inevitable national choice, and that considering the limits of state participation in all areas of the economy and opening more opportunities for the private sector will replace the state in dozens of projects. Additionally, he highlighted the importance of granting all facilities and incentives to the private sector.
The Minister of Finance continued, “Egypt has been facing challenges for the past 10 years, but it has overcome the destructive political situation following the events of 2011, as well as the fight against terrorism. The reform program has helped the economy to be flexible in absorbing economic factors.”
he announced that the Ministry of Finance is preparing the economy for a new phase of growth by taking several steps in the fields of agriculture, tourism, telecommunications, and industries related to reducing the investment gap between imports and exports. He also pointed out that 80% of the problems related to industry and economy have been solved, which will enhance the attraction of the private economy.
he revealed a new policy that will be announced in the coming days aimed at stabilizing the tax policy for the next five to seven years to encourage the private sector, with the allocation of 150 billion for industrial agricultural activities related to renewable energy with a low interest rate not exceeding 11%. In addition, the support for industry electricity will continue with about 6 billion annually.
he continued: In parliament, we are discussing an additional incentive of up to 55% of the value of the due tax as an investment incentive, and there is an effort to reduce the public debt to less than 80% by 2026, through managing steps that help reduce the debt, as happened before the Russian-Ukrainian war, and Egypt was able to reduce it through steps, but it increased due to the repercussions of that war and its economic crisis.
Dr. Hossam El-Mallahy, Senator and President of Nahda University, addressed the Minister of Finance, saying: “There are 120 million Egyptians relying on the Minister of Finance, who is the most important minister at present. Although I am not an economist, the university is a unit in this nation and offers its expertise to the economy.”
Al-Mallahi affirmed that we do not have an economic crisis, but rather it is the birth pangs of a new strong stage and therefore the birth pangs are a little painful. He also expressed optimism about surviving the hurricane that is passing through the whole world.
“And he emphasized that President Sisi does not show off, but rather faces challenges, believing that the year 2024 will be better and will be the year of breakthrough.”
On his part, Dr. Yousry Elsharkawy, the president of the African Businessmen Association, called for connecting the education and research community with the private sector, especially since economic issues are interconnected. He added that the Cabinet discusses daily a dialogue and open platforms to receive opinions regarding the local and global economy, which requires a good effort to reach practical solutions that boost the economy.
In a related context, Dr. Ahmed El Khedrawi, Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration at Nahda University, said that the world has been facing a crisis since World War II, and all governments of advanced and emerging countries are struggling for survival, and Egypt is one of the countries most affected by the crisis.
The dean, Dr. Ahmed El-Khadrawi, added that Egypt has put forward a roadmap to revive the economy through two approaches: the first is an economic plan to address the impact of the global crisis, and the second is by providing solutions to chronic crises, in order to overcome five historical situations, which are the events of 2011 and 2013, the crisis of startups in 2018, as well as the crises of COVID-19 and the Russian-Ukrainian war.
He pointed out that despite the crises, Egypt has survived, but it has borne a high cost to overcome the global contraction by increasing its economic growth. Everyone in Egypt must face global inflation rates, increasing debt levels, and fluctuations in the private sector participation rate.
At the end of the opening session, Dr. Hossam El-Mallahy honored Dr. Mohamed Maait – Minister of Finance, Dr. Yousry El-Sharqawy – Chairman of the African Businessmen Association (strategic partner), Ms. Yasmina El Husseiny – Head of Strategic Planning Sector at the Export Development Bank of Egypt (the main sponsor), the ambassador of Niger, and the Minister Counselor of Nigeria.