Political and economic analysts have attributed the Egypt Economic Summit’s postponement to March to the parliamentary elections and the failure to attract a high number of participants.
Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Mosbah Kotb denied these comments, saying that the delay to the summit’s initial timing is due to its coinciding with the Chinese New Year holiday.
Kotb added that Egypt is not the sole organiser of the conference, with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also in charge of managing the conference.
“Holding the summit in February would force Egypt to lose a large portion of investors with significant investment advantages,” Minister of Finance Hany Kadry Dimian said on Sunday. “The decision to postpone the summit garnered considerable debate within the government, especially in the Economic Group.”
Meanwhile, Cairo University Economics Professor Abdel Fattah Farag said the original date of the conference was “just an initial vision”, adding that even the March date is changeable.
Farag also said that another reason behind the delay may be the current instability of the Gulf stock markets.
The economic summit, sometimes referred to as the Partners of Development Conference, was originally called for by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah’s call came following Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s formal announcement as Egypt’s new president in June, to discuss methods of supporting Egypt economically.
According to Kotb, several international financial institutions will participate in the conference, including: the International Monetary Fund (IMF); the World Bank; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD); the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED); and other organisations.