On the sidelines of the visit of members of the Egyptian government to France: The Minister of Planning and Economic Development Participates in the Round Table Entitled: "Economic Growth, Productivity, and Business Climate"
26 October 2021
The "Decent Life" initiative targets the development of rural Egyptian villages in various fields, with a focus on education, health, and sanitation: Says Hala El-Said
Dr. Hala El-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, participated on Tuesday in the round table entitled: "Economic Growth, Productivity, and Business Climate".
That was while accompanying the Prime Minister, Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, on his visit and members of the Egyptian government to the French capital, Paris, during the period from 23 to 27 October.During her speech, Dr. Hala El-Said referred to the National Structural Reform Program, which aims to implement a comprehensive package of radical and well-targeted reforms at the structural and legal levels, targeting the root causes of imbalances in the real sector and business environment.El-Said explained that the targeted structural reforms include a set of policies such as economic structural diversification, trade liberalization, vocational training, strengthening the capital market, the labor market, the educational sector, the commodity market, and other structural reform measures.
El-Said added that the program aims to change the composition of the GDP by increasing the relative weight of the three leading sectors in the Egyptian economy, industry, agriculture, and information and communication technology. The program also contains five supporting pillars, namely, the labor market, technical and vocational education and training, the business environment, public governance; financial inclusion, and access to finance as well as human capital and its pillars: education, health, and social protection.El-Said explained that the Egyptian government aims to achieve a GDP growth rate of 7% in the 2023-2024 fiscal year, and the investment-to-GDP ratio should not be less than 20%.
The government is also targeting to increase the GDP contribution of the three leading sectors in the 2023/24 fiscal year to 30% - 35%. She added that the Egyptian government seeks to increase the share of the industrial sector by 15% by increasing the industrial clusters by about 15 to 20% as well as enhancing industrial exports as one of the components of total exports with an annual growth rate of at least 15%. The government also aims to increase agricultural activity by 30% and increase the share of the sector’s exports from 17% in 2020 to 34% in 2024, in addition to doubling ICT exports (services + merchandise exports) from $4 billion to $8 billion in 2024.Concerning the industrial sector, El-Said indicated that the Egyptian government aims to raise the level of integration in global and regional value chains, in addition to increasing the competitiveness of manufacturing industries as well as promoting industrial exports, in addition to localizing the industry, while strengthening local supply chains and deepening interdependence.El-Said stressed that the National Program for Structural Reforms (NPSR) focuses on promoting human capital development through education, health, and social protection.Moreover,(NPSR) seeks to develop the technical education and vocational training system and establish an institutional framework to enhance the role of the private sector in the field of education and training.On the subject of foreign direct investment, El-Said explained that it is not only a channel for the exchange of capital across countries, but it is also an important channel for the exchange of goods, services, and knowledge.El-Said highlighted the participation in global value chains, which represents one of the important objectives of Egypt’s Vision 2030 in maximizing added value, increasing the local component in the industrial sector, and reducing the trade deficit.
“The participation of Egyptian companies in global value chains is a major goal for Egypt to achieve higher diversification of exports, and enhance productivity,” El-Said said. El-Said affirmed the Egyptian government's insistence on making progress in terms of external competitiveness by linking its trade policy with an industrial policy, participating in deep trade agreements with major trading partners, in addition to coordination and mutual recognition of standards, and rules.El-Said added that Egypt has taken extensive measures to improve the business climate in general. This included introducing legislative reforms for major laws that affect the business environment as well as simplifying important aspects of tax policy and administration.
“As a result, Egypt’s ranking in the Doing Business 2020 index issued by the World Bank rose six places to 114 out of 190 countries,” She added.During the index ranking period, Egypt implemented four business reforms which is the second-highest number of reforms undertaken among MENA countries.El-Said referred to some of the main laws that have been enacted and government measures taken since 2018 so far and directed towards improving the business environment in Egypt, which are represented in the bankruptcy law, which decriminalizes bankruptcy, the amendments to the public institutions' law. Amendments are also being made to the law regulating private sector investment in infrastructure projects, services, and public utilities issued by Law No. 67 of 2010. These amendments aim to further encourage the private sector to participate in infrastructure projects.El-Said added that besides the legal and institutional dimension, the government is intensifying the infrastructure modernization program to stimulate private sector activity.
“ Public investments directed to the infrastructure sector during the past seven years amounted to EGP 1.7 trillion, exceeding $100 billion, as a result of huge investments in infrastructure development, Egypt's global competitiveness has improved significantly,” El-Said explained.
Egypt's position in the infrastructure quality index has improved by 48 ranks, bringing Egypt to the 52nd rank, compared to the 100th position it occupied in 2014/2015.
El-Said spoke about the “Decent Life” initiative to develop Egyptian villages in various fields, with a focus on education, health, and sanitation, explaining that the initiative targets 4,584 villages distributed over 175 centers in 20 governorates, benefiting 58 million beneficiaries, at a cost of more than EGP 700 billion over three years.On the issue of gender equality, El-Said emphasized that the issue of women’s economic empowerment is central in Egypt’s Vision 2030.
“The Egyptian state is also keen to integrate the concepts of gender equality and women’s empowerment into the educational curricula at the various stages to spread the culture and rational thought for empowering women, in addition to paying attention to training and capacity building, especially directed to women,” El-Said concluded.