Egypt is seeking to protect its economy during the global slowdown by attracting Asian investors, among other plans, Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman said.
“Investors will start looking for hotspots and growing markets to enter and penetrate,” the minister said.
Such investments, however, will only occur when bureaucracy and “red tape” are removed, Salman noted.
The minister also expressed his concerns about the global economy, noting that the Australian and Canadian economies had slowed in the second quarter, while China’s GDP is not expected to grow more than 5% to 6%.
While Egypt remains different, and the business community continues to be confident about the economy, the minister added that Egypt is not isolated from the turbulence being felt throughout the global economy.
“We should plan in order to take steps and create a good opportunity for the country,” the minister said. The economic committee is currently studying strong measures to safeguard the economy.
“We have to focus on labor intensive projects, while moving away from capital intensive projects,” Salman added.
Regarding progress made in attracting investors, Salman said the government has a “major target in Singapore”.
He added that education is a core pillar in developing the strategic structure of the country.
Additionally, the government has started planning to offer more investment opportunities in the Suez Canal, the minister said.
“We should have a joint venture with Singapore, because they have experience in harbors and ports,” Salman said.
Also, Egypt has discussed the possibility of Singapore conducting an in-depth study of East Port Said and Sokhna ports.
On development of the Suez Canal project, the minister said the master plan is finished and the two ports are now being upgraded.
“Industrial phases will be offered within one year with the needed infrastructure,” Salman said, adding that the government is committed to this plan.