By Abdel Qader Ramadan
The vision put forward by Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Sisi’s electoral platform aims to develop a new administrative map and investment map for the governorates in order to “realise the Egyptian dream on 100% of Egyptian land”.
With regards to economic development, the presidential candidate’s plan sets forth seven tenets by which to implement its goals.
This includes establishing projects on the investment map to stimulate the economy and increase the growth rates of all governorates. The electoral platform also seeks to fight unemployment, restructure subsidies to ensure they are delivered to the “deserving” and to maximise the use of state assets.
The platform also stated that there would be a formulation of a coherent legislative framework for stimulating investment, the formulation of a system for taxes and customs and an achievement of progress on economic indicators and with regard to Egypt’s credit rating.
According to the new administrative and investment maps, the programme includes the development of 26 cities and integrated tourist centers across 21 governorates. It also includes the implementation of the infrastructure network in different governorates within two years, and introduces mining in 22 cities, and opens opportunities for quarrying and mining.
The platform also aims to modernise and expand the capital, with its dimensions reaching the Gulf of Suez, and envisions a new centre of the capital for the central government and parliament.
The programme would introduce a free trade zone in Al-Tur in the Sinai (previously South Sinai), and proposes putting up eight new international airports and three new seaports for investment, while also establishing a major industrial city in Al-Arish.
The economic platform also seeks to build a modern transportation network to develop the governorates’ connectivity with their new borders. The network would include 4,000 to 5,000 kilometres of roads as well as high speed trains and also includes the development of river transport.
The platform aims to construct new schools, hospitals and health units, which will open up exceptional opportunities in contracting, procurement and limitless employment opportunities (both direct and indirect) in the construction sector.
The programme also includes the possibility of introducing new financial resources to help incentivise construction of submarine cables and land and water pipelines. It looks to commence the implementation of the Suez Canal Development plan immediately.
The restructuring of subsidies are another major point of the platform. “Money currently wasted in subsidising fuels to achieve popular demands, such as services, facilities, housing, schools, hospitals and so on, will be directed towards raising the capabilities of the state in supporting basic commodities for low-income individuals,” the platform said.
Sisi’s platform indicates that following the adoption of the two new maps, the use of hundreds of millions of square metres of Egyptian land, which had no market value previously, will be maximised.
The platform referred to areas outside the borders of the governorates and beyond the control of various cities. The map will allow for these vast lands to come under the control of the governorates, and the state will in turn be able to re-price these lands according to market rates and based on use (residential, commercial, tourist, agricultural, industrial, etc), the platform said.
The programme said that re-pricing of these assets will achieve renewed financial solvency for Egypt and contribute to improving its credit rating and stimulating various development plans.