The government is relying on socio-economic reforms to improve lives of Egyptians, said Minister of Finance Hany Kadry Dimian. He explained that “we seek to build a future for coming generations, and I am optimistic in light of recent policies”.
During an economic conference entitled “Economic Growth Management in Egypt” held in Cairo on Monday in the presence of the Ministers of Housing, Communications, and Social Solidarity, Dimian said that large-scale projects have been initiated recently, ranging from the Suez Canal project, to the initiative to reclaim lands, and port and capacity expansion projects.
He added that growth must be broadened by applying stable and sustainable policies for at least five years alongside fair wealth and income distribution which may be achieved through economic support and social solidarity programmes. Plans are also underway to bring health and education spending to 10% of GNP by 2018.
“The bureaucracy makes things difficult, but a political will also exists that has the power to break it, in addition to a societal force pushing for reform.” He added that energy subsidy reform isn’t just about changing prices but also involves altering the energy mix and moving in the direction of renewable energy, a path that the government has begun to embark on.
Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development Moustafa Madbouly said that the ministry is working to complete amendments to executive regulations pertaining to urban communities, adding that the amendments will be announced soon.
He added that Egypt is in need of a healthy housing climate, not just in terms of land and housing unit ownership but also leasing regulations. As a result, he said, amendments must be made to current legislations and executive regulations.
Minister of Communications and Information Technology Atef Helmy said that you can’t discuss Suez Canal development without also discussing high-speed internet, investment in Egypt’s prime geographical location, and the 17 marine cables that pass through Egyptian territory.
Helmy explained that his ministry will contribute to the Suez Canal axis project in three main ways. The first involves a logistics zone that will become a launch pad for the greater Middle East as well as African markets similar to Jebel Ali in Dubai and Singapore’s logistics zone. This particular zone will be much larger than those of Dubai and Singapore however, Helmy said.
The second project involves the construction of a global centre for internet services that aims to utilise marine internet cables passing through Egyptian territory that will encourage global companies to establish large servers in Egypt for customers around the world. At present, 17 submarine cables pass through Egyptian territory and generate annual revenues of EGP 17bn.
The third means through which the ministry can contribute to Suez Canal development includes launching the Technology Bay project east of the Suez Canal, which will create a new urban industrial community that depends on high-tech industries and modern software and electronics.
Minister of Interior representative Gamal Mokhtar said that the ministry is setting out security plans for new urban communities, explaining that the acts of terrorism that the state is currently confronting are not first of their kind – a first wave of terrorism was eliminated in the 1980s, he said, asserting that security agencies have succeeded in stopping the second wave of terrorism and spoiled its plans in a short time.
Mokhtar assured investors that security agencies are working hard to confront security challenges, adding that the main challenge involves dealing with terrorist elements and extremist organisations that interfere with Egypt’s roadmap.