By Eman Hamed
The third edition of Egypt Economic Summit brought out more than 30 strategic recommendations of paramount importance, from industry trailblazers and government officials, towards boosting Egypt’s economy and optimizing several industries. The summit was held under the auspices of H.E Prime Minister, Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, with high-profile participation from H.E Mrs. Hala El Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, H.E Mrs. Nevine Gamea, Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Ayman Soliman, CEO of the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, and Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (Video).
EES21 discussed the socioeconomic evolution in the last few years, with more than 20 experts and officials from the governmental and private sectors, to address the pressing issues in the economic sectors, with the objective of bringing up economic and investment opportunities in Egypt after COVID-19 in a number of vital sectors of the Egyptian economy.
The First session under the title “The New Republic’s Economy: Investment, Finance, and Digital Transformation” shared several insightful recommendations:
• Creating new work processes for the Competition Protection Authority in order to improve investment prospects.
• Rebuilding the consumer protection system in accordance with the objectives of the new republic.
• Using economic reforms to strengthen the investment climate.
• Comprehensive digital transformation and activation of e-banking transactions to achieve integrated financial inclusion.
• The necessity for the banking industry to prioritize small and medium-sized businesses.
• The significance of fostering a culture of self-employment and entrepreneurship in order to increase job options.
• Creating incentives to encourage and assist the transition to a green economy in order to stimulate the private sector and combat the global inflation wave.
• Minimizing anti-competitive laws and practices while maintaining competitive fairness.
• Using technology to interact with customers and promptly resolve their issues.
The panel discussion was held in participation of Mr. Ahmed Kojak, Deputy Finance Minister for Financial Policies, Dr. Mahmoud Momtaz, Chairman of Egyptian Competition Authority, Eng. Ayman Hossam El-Din, Chairman of Consumer Protection Agency, Mr. Mohamed Abbas Fayed, CEO of First Abu Dhabi Bank in Egypt, and Mr. Amr Abol-Enein, CEO and Managing Director of the Asset Management Sector at CI Capital Holding for Financial Investments. The session was also moderated by Mr. Ahmed Yakoub, Head of the Economy and Banking Department at Youm7.
The second session discussed “Industry as the key driver for investment” and came out with the following key recommendations:
• Emphasis on the participative concept in order to utilize all of the government, business sector, and civil society resources.
• Increasing effective community engagement in order to achieve comprehensive and long-term development goals.
• Boosting human capital investment by adopting a variety of training and capacity-building initiatives.
• Activating the “Irada Initiative” for business environment reforms, which aims to alter the legal and regulatory framework in order to stimulate business.
• Increasing and encouraging investments by fostering a dialogue between the government and private sector enterprises.
• Facilitating industrial licensing procedures and providing associated industrial lands.
• Creating an integrated team of trained human cadres, with each member managing a specialized industrial sector and working to solve problems and overcome hurdles.
• Considering investment in key sector projects in light of the pandemic, such as agriculture, food processing, logistics, and digital transformation.
• Increasing investment in education and establishing schools in collaboration with the private sector.
• Enhancing the role of the private sector as one of the primary axes of structural reforms to complement the successful execution of the National Program for Economic and Social Reform.
• Facilitating all procedures and providing the necessary assistance to train the administrative sector, which has continued to perform in the same manner for years and has not seen the hoped-for progress.
Dr. Mohamed El-Baz, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Al-Dostor Newspaper, moderated this session, which featured important discussion by Eng. Haitham Sadek, General Manager of Danone Egypt and North East Africa, Mr. Hany Aman, Managing Director and CEO of Eastern Company, Mr. Tarek Zaghloul, CEO of CMA CGM Egypt & Sudan Cluster, and Eng. Bassel Shoirah, General Manager of Polaris Parks.
The Third Session dived into an ICT-focused discussion under the name “Telecommunications and Digital Transformation Plan”, and concluded with keynote recommendations:
• Expanding the data centres sector and training human cadres to assist the outsourcing business, allowing it to boost its service exports.
• Meeting technology demands and providing the necessary infrastructure to support digital transformation.
• Increased spending on digital infrastructure.
• Telecom providers should scale up financial service.
• Enacting more laws to aid in the expansion of the electronic wallets.
• The need to invest in human capital to put diverse digital transformation concepts into action.
• Encouraging investment in cutting-edge technology for the development of financial services.
• Creating a work culture that reflects shifting digital cultures and envisions the future trajectory of corporate development.
Eng. Hossam Saleh, Chief Operations Office at United Media Services, moderated this session, with the participation of Eng. Khaled El Attar, Deputy Minister for Administrative Development, Digital Transformation, and Automation, Eng. Mohamed Nasr El Din, Assistant ICT Minister for Global Information Infrastructure (GII), Mr. Ashraf Mohamed Sayed, Chief Business Officer at Telecom Egypt, Eng. Ayman Elgohary, Managing Director at Cisco, Mrs. Mirna Aref, General Manager of Microsoft Egypt, and Eng. Ahmed Mekky, Chairman and CEO of Benya Group.
The Fourth session shed the light on “Urban development and its impact on the economy”, sharing the following key recommendations:
• Exploring financing options to alleviate the financial pressure on the real estate developer.
• Supporting the government’s efforts and the need to promote the expansion of real estate registration
• Creating a clear plan for improving and controlling the means of promoting Egyptian real estate.
• Providing opportunities for real estate developers to engage in infrastructure projects in collaboration with the government.
• Creating databases that show investors the promising opportunities in the real estate industry.
• Enacting more laws to regulate the real estate market.
Mr. Akram Al-Qassas, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Youm7 Publication, chaired the session as a moderator with high-profile participation from Eng. Ahmed Shalaby, President and CEO of Tatweer Misr, Eng. Tarek Shoukry, Head of the Real Estate Development Chamber in the Federation of Egyptian Industries, Eng. Mohamed Hany El Assal, CEO and Managing Director of Misr Italia Properties, Dr. Mohamed Mekkawy, Chairman of Amer Group Holding, and Mr. Ahmed Ghozzi, CEO of ACG-ITF.