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Egypt to run societal dialogue for 3 months on state ownership policy document

Egypt to run societal dialogue for 3 months on state ownership policy document

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly held a meeting Tuesday with a host of ministers and officials to revise the final draft of the document set to be issued by the end of May, according to a cabinet statement.

The document will outline the sectors from which the state plans to exit, and those in which it will continue in light of its plan to raise the participation of private sector companies in the country’s investment over the next three years.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi asserted in a December speech that the state seeks to encourage non-state-run companies to participate further in housing, agricultural, energy, transport, and roads projects.

The first step of the dialogue will be a government-organised workshop for experts, economists, businessmen and investors to review the document, according to Tuesday’s statement.

The government is keen to hear from various opinions and observations on key issues, Madbouly said, stressing that everyone involved shares the same goal: “the interest of our country and the advancement of the economy.”

The document outlines an integrated view for the state’s activity in the economic sectors over the coming three years in a way that will help empower the private sector, Assistant Prime Minister Osama El-Gohary explained.

It is expected to help reassure local investors, lure foreign investments and boost the confidence of the international institutions in the Egyptian economy, El-Gohary added.

Earlier in May, Madbouly said Egypt seeks to boost private sector participation in the economy to 65 percent, up from 30 percent at present.

The drive to attract private sector participation aims to spur growth, create jobs, and boost competitiveness amid the global crises.

El-Sisi, who has repeatedly invited the private sector to participate in new projects with the public one, said also in December that Egypt was implementing – in partnership with private sector – development projects “worth EGP 1.1 trillion, and that these projects have created jobs for more than 3 million families”.

In a briefing in mid-May to explain the country’s plan to handle the repercussions of the global crises on the Egyptian economy, Madbouly said a four-year programme with a total value of EGP 40 billion for the private sector partnership would be declared soon.

The country aims to attract $10 billion in new investments over each of the next four years by offering stakes in state-owned assets in renewable energy projects, real estate in new cities, desalination, and telecommunications projects and projects in the education sector.

Additionally, Egypt will offer 12 companies under the government’s initial offering programme (IPO) on the EGX by end of 2022, including two of Armed Forces-run companies and other firms that are under the umbrella of the public business sector.

The Ukrainian crisis has cost Egypt EGP 130 billion in direct losses owing to the spike in commodity prices as well as the higher interest rates.

The country also bore additional spending of EGP 335 billion on items such as wages and pensions, social safety nets, and tax breaks, Madbouly has said.

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