CURRENT AFFAIRS – EGYPT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE

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A landmark conference in March 2015 will showcase the progress of Egypt’s economic and business reforms and launch a four-year economic development and investment programme

Egypt is to host the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm El Sheikh from March 13-15, 2015. The event will see the launch of a four-year development and investment program that will put the economy on a path towards inclusive and sustainable growth.

The conference will be a major milestone in the implementation of this ambitious growth program which seeks to attract billions of dollars in foreign investment over the four-year period. Attracting leading figures from business and politics, the Egypt Economic Development Conference will highlight the extensive reforms the government has already implemented – such as subsidy reforms – and others that will be put in place to restore fiscal stability, drive growth, attract investment and ultimately improve the social welfare of the Egyptian people.

Announcing the conference, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab described the event as a catalyst for Egypt’s economic developmenc2d3b319eaae242d660f6a70670095a1t and an opportunity for international political and business leaders, as well as investors and institutions, to participate in major development initiatives across a wide range of sectors.

Recognising the need for inclusive growth to support long-term economic resilience, the Egypt Economic Development Conference will also feature the participation of Egyptian youth, SMEs and entrepreneurs who will have the opportunity to share ideas and interact with conferencedelegates.

“Egypt is firmly on the path to economic recovery. Implementing and communicating a clear road map of business climate reforms is essential to fostering investor confidence in Egypt and paving the way to genuinely inclusive economic and social reform,” said Prime Minister Mahlab. “However, this conference and the reforms we are putting in place are not just about attracting investment; they are about building a successful economy and a more prosperous future for our people. Increasing access to healthcare and housing and improving education services will drive human development and ensure better lives for the Egyptian people.”

Minister of International Cooperation, Naglaa Al Ahwany is leading the organisation of the Egypt Economic Development 9e002b93eaac242d660f6a7067002600Conference in partnership with members of the Ministerial Economic Committee. Commenting on the announcement of the event she said, “The Egypt Economic Development Conference is the starting point for a new vision for Egypt’s economy and a gateway for presenting opportunities to local, regional and international investors. We are working in close cooperation with our development partners, notably Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to make this vision a reality and look forward to introducing the world to an Egypt with a reinvigorated economic vision in March.”

“In the past 6 months, we have been making courageous decisions to set our nation on the path to economic recovery and growth,” H.E. Minister of Investment, Ashraf Salman, said. “The economic recovery program will create jobs, address key infrastructure gaps, and promote Egyptian exports. We are listening to investors, and are working hard on new policies that will ensure a level playing field for investors where transparency and the rule of law prevail.”

The conference will also serve as a forum for discussions between international business leaders and Egyptian governmental and private sector leaders on specific investment initiatives. Egypt has already taken steps to reduce bureaucracy and strengthen investors’ rights including new investment, procurement and mining laws that will be issued in the near future and the establishment of a new committee to ensure the prompt resolution of commercial disputes.

The Egypt Economic Development Conference is an important step in Egypt’s recent economic reform program which also includes commitments to substantial deficit reduction. The government is already implementing energy subsidy reforms and is planning the introduction of a Value Added Tax to broaden the base of tax receipts. The government is currently in renewed Article 4 discussions with the IMF.

Today’s announcement follows a visit earlier this week from Jin Cai, Executive Vice President and CEO of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), who confirmed his participation in the conference. The IFC is the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group (WBG) and is working with the Egyptian government to help rebuild confidence in the Egyptian economy. Mr. Cai held talks with Prime Minister Mahlab and key members of the Ministerial Economic Committee on the country’s ongoing economic reform program during his visit.

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