The Investment Challenges Conference in Egypt will kick off on Sunday, with the participation of more than 25 Arab, foreign, and African countries. The conference, which is held for the first time, will also feature representatives from the Suez Canal Economic Authority and the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones.
The conference aims to address the challenges and opportunities of investing in Africa and Egypt, according to economic expert Mohamed Badr. He said that Egypt has a competitive edge in human resources, as it can provide skilled and trained workers in various fields at lower wages than other countries. He added that Egypt is a regional leader in sectors that require high skills and service-based sectors, such as communications, information technology, and financial services.
Badr also highlighted the growth of foreign direct investment flows in Egypt, which reached $10 billion in the fiscal year 2022/2023, an increase of 12.8% compared to the previous year. He said that the service sector, education, health, financial and banking services, logistics and transportation services, communications, and others, received the highest inflows in July 2023, accounting for 33.1% of the total investments. He noted that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine had a negative impact on these flows.
As for the economic and investment challenges facing Africa, Badr said that the continent has great potential for attracting investors, as it has abundant natural resources and a large workforce. He said that some countries have taken steps to facilitate investment procedures and attract international capital and companies to help the development of the continent.
However, Badr expressed his regret at the low rates of investment attraction in Africa and blamed the conflicts and armed movements that target foreign companies and projects for causing huge losses and instability. He said that the military coups in West Africa and the armed conflicts in many parts of the continent were among the main reasons for the flight of foreign investment from several regions.
Badr stressed that Africa is still in dire need of study centers and experts working to study how to create a stable environment for foreign investment by providing protection for institutions and compensating them if they are exposed to any challenge during the periods of events and conflicts that afflict the region from time to time.