By Nojeed Gandour, Correspondent Egypt
Egypt could unleash economic growth and create more and better jobs by addressing constraints to private sector activity, according to a report published by the World Bank Group.
The Egypt Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD) takes an in-depth look at the private sector’s role in Egypt and provides a roadmap for how the country can strengthen and diversify its economy.
The report identifies trade and logistics, the role of the state, and competition and commercial justice as critical areas in need of reform. It also examines constraints and opportunities for the development of strategic sectors, including agribusiness, manufacturing, technology, and others.
“The need for inclusive economic growth is more pertinent today than ever,” said Egypt’s Minister for International Cooperation, Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat. “Egypt is committed to push for more private sector engagement to generate jobs that are broad-based across many sectors in the economy, which in return drive diversification and long-term sustainable development.”
IFC Country Manager for Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, Walid Labadi said, “In 2016, Egypt embarked on a reform journey that improved its macroeconomic stability and helped restore confidence in its economy, but more must be done to further reforms and unlock the full potential of the country’s private sector. The CPSD provides the roadmap for how to do this.”
The CPSD outlines how Egypt can boost growth by reforming its trade policies, modernizing its customs, and improving its transportation links. It also highlights the importance of ensuring a level playing field for state-owned and private sector economic actors, establishing a culture of greater transparency, and of improving the competition framework.
World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen & Djibouti, Marina Wes said, “Sustaining and building on Egypt’s recent macroeconomic gains —especially in light of COVID-19— requires a second generation of reforms aimed at strengthening human capital, advancing the digital economy, and promoting private sector led growth. The CPSD launched today complements existing World Bank Group initiatives aimed at strengthening the private sector and enabling it to unlock its full potential including by creating jobs for Egypt’s growing youth population.”
IFC has invested and mobilized over US$4 billion in Egypt over the past decade, including US$400 million during the last fiscal year. IFC also provides advisory services support to Egypt’s government and private enterprises to strengthen the country’s private sector.
The World Bank’s program in Egypt supports reforms that build Egypt’s human capital, and improve its competitiveness and governance. The World Bank portfolio in Egypt comprises 13 projects with a total commitment of US$5.84 billion.