Egypt: Al Ahwany to Italy, economic reform ahead

Cairo investing in 10 sectors to attract investors

23 February, 16:43

    Quality inspectors at a plant in Sadat City, near Cairo Quality inspectors at a plant in Sadat City, near Cairo

    (ANSAmed) - ROME - Egypt is striving to attract foreign investors once again in the country, the Egyptian minister for international cooperation, Naglaa Al Ahwany has said.

    The minister is in Rome ahead of the international conference of Sharm el-Sheikh on economic development - on March 13-15 - to meet with Italian economic leaders to persuade them to increase their presence in Egypt by outlining progress on reforms over the past few months and convince them to believe once again in the country.

    Speaking on the eve of a mission organized by Italy's ministries of economic development and foreign affairs, which has been in Cairo since yesterday with representatives from 90 firms, five business associations and five bank groups, the minister said that ''in spite of its great difficulties, Egypt remains a country in which to invest and has all the credentials to attract foreign companies''.

    According to forecasts by the Economist Intelligence Unit quoted by Sace, in 2015 Egypt's GDP should grow to 4% from 2.2% in 2014.

    Al Ahwany is in Rome to reassure Italian entrepreneurs and explain what has been done so far by the Egyptian government to re-launch the country, reforming or issuing new regulations to improve the investment climate and help the development of a number of sectors.

    ''We are investing in 10 sectors'', she told ANSAmed.

    And in Sharm El Sheikh ''we mean to present what has been done so far and what remains to be done''. Challenges and opportunities must be taken in the energy, mineral, oil and gas sectors as well as in innovation and technology, construction, transport, logistics, tourism, agriculture, health and education. ''We will present as many as 33 projects on which we are greatly investing'' at the conference in March. ''We will explain them to international investors and we will illustrate legislative reforms we have approved or that we are wrapping up''.

    These include a law on investments - which is being changed - and another one on special economic zones, she said, also listing legislation on small credit, competitiveness, renewable energy and the electric sector. There are also two laws that need much more time, she said, given their impact on Egyptian society: the law on employment and labor laws for the public sector. ''A wider debate is necessary'', said Al Ahwany.

    There is also the problem of legal issues between the State and foreign companies: ''We are hard at work on this sector as well to reach a quick solution. Many issues have been solved'', she said.(ANSAmed).

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