Statement by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s at BRICS Business Forum
Tuesday، 05 September 2017 - 04:14 PM
Mr. Chairman of BRICS Business Forum,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me first extend my greetings and appreciation, and express my pleasure to attend with you this international important gathering of BRICS, which has become one of the most efficient and influential grouping on the international level.
I met some of you within the bilateral framework between Egypt and your friendly countries, with which we have close and distinguished relations. I am sure that you are following up the current development process in Egypt. Egypt has successfully dealt with its chronic economic crisis despite the cost of war against terrorism with its all forms and its success in restoring security and stability in a country, whose population is estimated at more than 93 million. We don’t hesitate a day to seriously and unprecedently deal with this chronic economic crisis.
Consequently, we have recently adopted a package of radical reforms in the collective and sectoral policies according to a pure Egyptian diagnosis and vision to the situations, problems and solutions.
We have also adopted a national plan representing Egypt Strategy until the year 2030, taking the guidelines of the Development Agenda 2063 and Africa Agenda 2063, but according to clear national targets and priorities.
This resulted in an improvement in the overall economic performance, whose rate of growth hit 4.3% in July 2017 and the foreign currencies reserve hit $36 billion. However, we are still seeking to tame the inflation rate and reduce it to the minimum, simultaneously with lowering the budget deficit to less than 10% of the Gross Domestic Product.
In this context, I would like to focus on some important elements:
First: The sustainable economic reform and development programme, currently under implementation, has adopted a number of policies, whose social cost has been high, however, for being postponed, they Led to very passive affects on the pillars of the economy itself and the vistas of the future for the Egyptian people, who reiterated confirmed its deep awareness and understanding of the volume of this challenge and the burdens of the decisions taken. We had taken these decisions out of our vision that correction of the policies is the optimal way to place the Egyptian economy on the right track.
Concerning reform of the subsidy system as an example, I wish to state that we had studied the best models adopted in the similar countries, some of which are members to BRICS. We had studied the Brazilian example in dealing with inflation through increasing productivity and enhancing economic efficiency through privatizing some companies, while expanding public expenditures on social protection and services. We had also studied the Indian experiment in applying a modern technology system for listing those, who deserve the subsidy and electronically linked them with the government subsidy system.
Second: The flexible social solidarity network is an important point of the sustainable reform and development in Egypt. Those, who deserve the subsidy are covered by this network according to a ceaseless revision their social and economic status in a way that those who become not in need of this support, especially with the dropping rate of unemployment, go out.
Third: Also, the monetary policies have been amended and a resilient exchange rate system was adopted to end trading in currency outside the banking system with liberation of the exchange rate of the Egyptian pound according to supply and demand order. This led to increasing the competiveness of the Egyptian exports and attracting foreign investment thanks to the low cost.
Fourth: Concerning the investment and businesses environment, the Egyptian parliament passed the unified investment law, that way highly discussed by the government, Egyptian and foreign investors. It responded to several demands, you had already requested, when its bill was tabled following the Sharm El-Sheikh Economic Conference in 2015.
One of its important features is containing of an investment map of the areas and fields that will be granted big privileges. It provides the electronic registration service, and offers a package of incentives for the strategic projects like tax deduction and lands for free. Besides, it provides offices, whose job is to assist investor in setting up projects, with the possibility of obtaining a unified approval from the cabinet to settle all required measures and start the investor’s business immediately.
A few days ago, the Ministry of Trade & Industry approved a law allowing the industrial companies to get licences in only seven days, not 600 as before.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our giant national projects are progressing well. They push the economy, provide jobs and boost the real economic growth. These projects include cultivation of 1.5 million feddan to guarantee self – sufficiency of the main crops, establishment of new cities all over Egypt and establishment of a new economic and administrative capital to accommodate the over population and due to be built upon the most – up – to – date environmentally and technology tactics.
These projects include also building more than 5000 km of roads and tunnels that connect a new generation of the urban communities to exit from the narrow Nile Valley. Besides, the new natural gas finds, a plan to set up a unclear plant to generate electricity in cooperation with the friendly state of Russia, in addition to construction of the Suez Canal development corridor and seven tunnels under the Suez Canal to link Sinai with Egypt and change the developmental reality in this area in unprecedented way.
In the coming period, we will start launching new mega projects, some of which are in the tourist domain in particular, as high international level communities will be established on the Mediterranean and Red Sea.
I wish to mention also that we have different cooperation formulas South – South between Egypt and the BRICS member states in the African continent. Also, there is a possibility for your institutions to benefit from the commercial agreements between Egypt and other Arab, African and European countries, as the products, which are manufactured and granted a value added, will enjoy varied types of special privileges to access to the markets of these partner countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In conclusion, I wish to assure you that we are working hard to create a favourable environment for your investments in Egypt. We are also looking forward to benefit from your experiences, you had already built throughout a decade, the age of this grouping, in removing obstacles of inter – trade and investment.
Let us work together: governments, individuals and businesses communities for the interest of our peoples, which request us to meet their development needs and create a better future for the coming generations.
Thanks for your attention