Egypt needs growth and job creation over economic stability, said Mission Chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Egypt Chris Jarvis during the Euromoney conference.
Jarvis said the IMF welcomes the changes to the subsidies regime that were recently introduced, adding that taxes are “very important steps in the right direction”.
“We [IMF] have a continuing relationship with Egypt, which goes [back] a long time,” Jarvis said. “We have given advice to the Ministry of Finance, especially with regards to the tax issues and recently with general discussion on the economic prospects”.
According to Jarvis, there is a “long road” to economic progress, however, the IMF is willing to be a partner for the Egyptian government.
Managing director of Lazard Frères Bozidar Djelić said that Egypt’s economic summit, previously known as the Development Partners summit, is viewed by the government as a device requiring cooperation between different ministries.
“There is willingness from the Egyptian government to invite the IMF to have a look [at plans set for attracting investors], not to say whether [these plans] are good or bad but basically for Egypt to fulfil its obligation as a member of the IMF,” Djelić said.
Djelić pointed out that the Cabinet has placed concrete milestones and figures to follow up on for the summit, which will be held in February 2015.
Earlier this month, Minister of Planning and Administrative Development Ashraf El-Araby told Daily News Egypt that the country is targeting some EGP 500bn in investments from the private sector.
President of Signet Institute Angus Blair mentioned that with population growth at 2.6% per annum, the country needs dramatic economic solutions.
“Growth of 5% or 6% is not enough,” Blair said, adding: “We’ve [Egypt] got to get to 8%, to the Chinese levels of [economic] growth”.
Discussing how to attract foreign direct investments, Blair said bureaucracy must be eliminated, explaining that Egypt does not make it easy to start businesses for foreign investors.