Political stability has opened the way for economic recovery in Egypt, according to Tim Fox, chief economist and head of research at Emirates NBD.
However, Fox said that the country needs to upgrade its infrastructure and access the under-banked and under-housed segments.
Discussing the challenges facing Egypt, Fox said the depreciation of the Egyptian pound and the Russian economic turmoil, which consequently affected the number of Russian tourists coming into Egypt, are challenging the economy.
During his presentation at the Euromoney conference, Fox added that Egypt’s tourism sector has started to recover, but that net exports are likely to drag due to weak export momentum and high imports. The balance of payment is therefore still in question.
Mouayed Makhlouf, director of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, said on Tuesday during the Euromoney Conference, that investing in Egypt is positive for the IFC.
The IFC believes that the private sector’s investment momentum is bigger than foreign direct investment (FDI), Makhlouf said.
Reviewing Egypt’s economy, Makhlouf said the country could be a major hub for Africa, adding that there is still huge potential to attract tourists if the country can lure richer tourists, rather than relying on “cheap tourism”.
Makhlouf said that his organisation is seeing changes on Egypt’s economic scene, adding that they aim to get investors to the market, not only from the private sector but also from outside the region. The IFC will be interested in investing in the ports in the Suez Canal Axis project, he added.
In the same session, Hassan Elkhatib, Managing Director of Equity at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), stressed the importance of attracting FDI to Egypt, highlighting the significance of the private sector.