If a country’s strength
resides less in the physical resources at its disposal than in the speed at
which it adapts to change, Egypt in 2002 has grown far stronger since it
adopted a package of reform measures only a few decades ago.
In the early 1980s, Egypt
began to upgrade the national infrastructure: electricity, roads, ports,
telecommunications and basic services. Today, a modern and efficient
infrastructure network, which is a fundamental pre-requisite for increased
foreign and domestic investments, covers most of the country.
In the 1990s, the
government adopted a major and comprehensive financial and economic reform
program, ushering in an era of efficient economic management and financial
discipline. This program set the foundations for a dynamic, high-growth
economy. Over the course of a decade, reforms have put in place a
market-based, liberal, privately led economy that is truly capable of facing
global competition in the twenty-first century. By revamping market
conditions, renewing and consolidating the infrastructure, dismantling
bureaucratic barriers and streamlining procedures, Egypt is ensuring that
its economy becomes one of the most open, resilient and internationally
integrated markets in the region, and indeed worldwide.
diversity, the Egyptian economy enjoys a rich natural resource base, highly
integrated manufacturing capacities, a flourishing agricultural sector,
ample attractions for tourism, and a skillful labor force; these factors,
combined, provide the country with a remarkable potential for sustainable
Beyond such promising
developments as revitalized agriculture and progress in the manufacturing
sector, improved roads, telecommunications and power providers all offer an
excellent environment for investments. The banking, insurance and capital
markets have been reformed to provide the necessary financial services as
well as considerable profit opportunities.
Egypt’s economy is the
second largest in the Arab world, and the largest in North Africa.
With a population of
nearly 70 million, Egypt is the largest Arab nation and one of the most
populous countries in the African continent.
With its dependable
climate an A major trade and trans-shipment destination, it occupies the northeastern corner of Africa, sharing borders with Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, and Palestine, Israel and Jordan to the northeast. The Mediterranean laps at its northern coast, while the Red Sea lies to the east. Situated at the crossroads between Europe, Africa and Asia, at the heart of international trade routes, it can competitively supply a market of one billion people.
Tourism, which declined after the Luxor incident of 1997, is on the increase once again as travelers flock to see the world’s most spectacular antiquities and enjoy its most breathtaking beaches. Egypt’s riches encompass cultural artifacts from the Pharaonic, Coptic, Byzantine, Roman and Islamic eras. That our visitors feel safe is perhaps themost eloquent testimony to the success of security efforts and the anti-terrorism campaign.
d the abundant water resources offered by the Nile, Egypt has
always been one of the world’s richest agricultural areas.
Local and multinational
firms can capitalize on the growing pool of young Egyptians skilled in IT.
Several international software designers have opened offices here to Arabize
their applications, and thus to tap the expanding Arabic-speaking Middle
Eastern IT market. Egyptian engineers are employed in the development of
prototypes for food, pharmaceuticals and electronics. Egypt’s workforce,
almost 18 million strong, is also an excellent source of productive,
inexpensive, skilled and semi-skilled labor.
Egypt’s recent global
integration experience offers ample opportunities for economies of scale in
both industry and trade. By setting up an office or investing in Egypt, a
business can profit from the growing domestic market, cater to the high
purchasing power and vast demand that characterize neighboring Arab and
African countries, and expand on existing trade links with the European
Union and the United States.
The current issue of
in Egypt is
made up of three main sections. The Country Profile orients potential
investors with regard to major macroeconomic indicators as well as social,
political and legal highlights. A Land of Opportunity sheds light on the
rapidly developing business environment and the growth that has resulted
from that development in several sectors. The third section highlights the
legal and regulatory reforms being implemented at present.
investment in Egypt will find a substantial pool of resources, natural and
human, at their disposal. Investors seeking to exploit untapped
opportunities can offer Egypt technology, know-how and other skills
essential to the sustainable growth of a vibrant economy eagerly moving into
the twenty-first century.