Egypt has resources to be strong world trade competitor: Swiss ambassador

Shaimaa Al-Aees
4 Min Read

Swiss Ambassador to Egypt Paul Garnier said that Egypt has many resources to boost its competitiveness in world trade, such as the Suez Canal, noting that Cairo has a promising opportunity to become strong competitor in international trade.

Garnier explained that his country had limited resources, just water and rock, but was able to expand its investments and create a global presence.

In the third annual Global Trade Matters Global Competitiveness Summit-Ambassadors’ Edition, held Tuesday, Garnier noted that Switzerland was able to come out to the world, and to form a strong investment environment, based on competitive relations.

Sahar El-Damaty, former deputy managing director at Banque Misr, said that the dollar actually declined after the flotation decision.

El-Damaty added that the dollar before the floatation recorded EGP 21 on the black market, which created a state of inflation in the Egyptian economy.

She stressed that the dollar is actually falling and there are economic measures to support the gradual decline of the dollar against the pound over the coming period.

For his part, Abd El Wahab El Ghandour, secretary general of the Education Development Fund, said the education sector is now witnessing great development, which is unnoticed because it is being modelled in the higher education and technical sectors.

“The challenge now is to achieve the financial sustainability of this development after it is circulated because the development of education is costly,” he said. “The budget of the education sector for this year is about EGP 91bn, including EGP 71bn in salaries.”

He noted that education development must be achieved through the development of the state partnership with the private sector to bridge the skills gap and recognise the needs of the labour market. Also, he pointed out that there is a partnership with Italy and Germany to develop the technical education sector, adding that there are 1,500 technical schools in Egypt, including 50 technical schools in the industrial sector.

Moreover, he explained that in Germany, the private sector and industrial sector own and supervise technical bodies and the state is the regulator. He said Egypt should seek to apply a similar model.

He said that solving the financial problems facing Egypt’s education sector entails decreasing expenses, restructuring the educational system, and integrating entities that execute similar functions,  as well as assessing the existing educational system and collaborating with private sector to begin the development of schools.

Omar Sabbour, deputy head of Sabbour Consulting Company, said there is strong political will and effective measures to tackle corruption, but there is a need to tackle the bureaucratic problem facing investors today.

“Foreign investors will not tolerate the bureaucracy,” Sabbour added, “there is another problem, which is that workers are not compatible with the requirements of companies.”

He noted that there were four protocols signed by Sabbour Consulting Company with universities to train students before graduation, describing it as a successful programme.

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