The 7th Annual MENA Investor Conference 2023
Monday، 30 January 2023 - 12:00 AM
Prime Minister, Dr.Mostafa Madbouli, inaugurated CI Capital’s 7th Annual MENA Investor Conference, organised by CI Capital Holding, a leading Egyptian diversified financial services group, from the 30th of January to the 1st of February.
The event featured the participation of the Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of Planning and Economic Development Dr.Hala El-Said, the Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait, in addition to the Public Business Sector, as well as a group of investors, investment banks, private sector companies and CEOs from Egypt and the MENA region.
The conference offers an important chance for tackling the role of international partnerships in promoting the participation of the private sector in national development efforts.
Addressing the opening of the 7th Annual MENA Investor Conference, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli stressed that Egypt seeks to realize positive economic outlook during 2023.
He said the meeting comes at a time when partnerships can achieve resilience in the face of economic pressures and challenges and pave the ground for economic recovery.
He thanked all partners of investors and CEOs who participate in the conference to explore on investment opportunities.
He highlighted that the conference underlines the importance of multi-lateral participation of both private and public sectors to open new vistas of investment.
He expounded that the world is facing extraordinary challenges and efforts are underway to address these challenges and create an investment-attractive climate.
He said the world now has an appetite for promising stories of success.
Madbouli said the primary surplus will reach 2.1 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
He said Egypt is planning to lower its debt to GDP ratio to 78 percent by the 2026-2027 fiscal year, highlighting the importance of debt management.
He said the government will achieve these goals through the new economic reform program backed by the International Monetary Fund.
He affirmed that the government is committed to all policies of the reform program.
He said the government seeks to expand social safety networks and structural reforms, stressing that the government is moving swiftly to deal with all challenges.
He underlined that Egypt managed to meet market needs and worked hard with the Central Bank of Egypt to release piling goods in ports since December 2022.
Madbouli noted that the State has already started to secure the foreign currency availability along with luring more foreign investors, adding that the State is moving ahead with a comprehensive plan to provide foreign currency needs at the markets during 2023.
Madbouli asserted that the empowerment of the private sector and attracting foreign investments top the priorities of the State's agenda. It is not a five or ten year plan, but it targets this year.
He said this general strategy has placed investment and the growth depending on investment and the comprehensive investment models under the umbrella of the Finance Ministry to carry out.
Madbouli also said the State has announced a new lending initiative for the industry and agriculture sector along with expansion in the equipment and industrial production devices through the capital market as one of the key sources of funding.
He said the government was keen on propelling direct and indirect investment through the capital market and the Egyptian bourse (EGX) has again restored its gains from the capital market in 2022.
Madbouli explained that the government has launched the State Ownership Policy which will not only overhaul the investment climate in Egypt but will add to the Egyptian bonds and stock market as key channels for action.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli reiterated his happiness for attending the MENA Investor Conference, saying that such conferences represent an important platform for communication between the private sector companies and the government.
He said participants in the conference will review how they can contribute to offering a better life for the Egyptians through comprehensive and sustainable growth.
Madbouli concluded his speech saying that although the world passed through many challenges over the past years, Egypt is fully committed to implementing its comprehensive economic reform program, he said, welcoming investors to be partners in this drive.
Al-Mashat Participates in CI Capital’s 7th MENA Investor Conference
Egypt's Minister of International Cooperation Rania A. Al-Mashat participated in a session on the Mechanisms to Stimulate Private Sector Engagement through International Partnerships in the CI Capital’s 7th Annual MENA Investor Conference.
During the session, Al-Mashat discussed the role of international partnerships in stimulating private sector participation in development.
Al-Mashat said that the ministry works with all multilateral and bilateral development partners, with the exception of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in order to strengthen economic relations and open horizons for partnerships, whether with government entities or the private sector.
She also noted that concessional development finance plays a role in supporting development efforts and in stimulating participation of the private sector, pointing out that the Egyptian private sector, in several fields, has fruitful relations with development partners and international financing institutions.
Moreover, Al-Mashat indicated that the Ministry of International Cooperation is working to ensure that the country's priorities, strategies and objectives, as well as providing more opportunities for the private sector are included in action plans with development partners, through multi-stakeholder platforms.
The minister also noted that despite the competition between nations to obtain financing from MDBs and IFIs, Egypt has set a precedence in terms of clarity and credibility in presenting projects transparently, all in line with the UN SDGs.
Al-Mashat revealed that Egypt has secured development financing agreements with the aim of advancing the national development vision, noting that the private sector has benefited during the past three years from these funds.
This includes development financing exceeding $7.3 billion from multilateral and bilateral development partners, whether in the form of lines of credit to finance small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups, soft development financing for companies, or direct investments in priority state sectors.
In this respect, Al-Mashat emphasized that the Ministry of International Cooperation established a framework for international cooperation and development financing, which ensures the alignment of national strategies with development partners with the country's priorities and objectives.
She said: "Through 2022, and continuing into 2023, the ministry continued to prepare country strategies with multilateral and bilateral development partners, which incorporate room for private sector engagement in development efforts."
The Minister also talked about the efforts exerted to create constructive partnerships through blended financing between development partners, the private sector and national entities to expand development projects and climate action, coinciding with Egypt's presidency of the COP27, and for the implementation of the 2050 National Country Climate Strategy (NCCS) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Al-Mashat added that the COP27 witnessed the signing of grants and agreements with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), as well as new partnerships, including with Climate Investment Funds (CIF), in order to support efforts to expand green hydrogen, enhancing Egypt's position as a regional energy hub.
Moreover, she added that in light of the importance of climate action and development, and the absolute necessity for the participation of the private sector as a major actor in the green transition, the Ministry of International Cooperation launched the Country Platform for the Nexus of Water, Food and Energy (NWFE) Program, which includes 9 priority projects that fall within the NCCS 2050 umbrella.
The minister also pointed out that each pillar has a key lead development partner responsible for coordinating and mobilizing private sector investments, blended financing and various financing mechanisms.
In the same connection, Al-Mashat noted the efforts to map the development financing portfolio, which amounts to about $26 billion, with the UN SDGs, in a way that enhances the ability to track progress on each goal, supporting both increased international partnerships and efficient decision-making on future projects.
For her part, Minister of Planning and Economic Development Dr. Hala El-Said participated in the session of the Egyptian Ministerial Economic Committee.
During the session, El-Said discussed the various crises the world is currently witnessing, beginning with the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by the rise in inflation and therefore interest rates, as well as the geopolitical challenges represented, especially in the Russian-Ukrainian war, which led to deep and widespread shocks in the food and energy systems, in addition to an increase in prices.
El-Said pointed out that the strong nature of the cross-current requires policymakers to make a "barter" in policy-making, explaining that treating one crisis essentially leads to the emergence of another crisis or the exacerbation of an existing one.
El-Said indicated the need to understand the multiple challenges and how they interact with each other to know how to deal with them.
El-Said added that global economic growth is expected to reach 2.7% in 2023, slowing from 3.2% in 2022 and 6% in 2021.
El-Said explained that these numbers are based on the estimations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in October 2022 and that they will be revised in the coming period.
She indicated that the IMF also expects a third of the world’s countries to enter a recession in 2023, with major economies slowing down.
On the performance of the Egyptian economy, Dr. Hala El-Said indicated that a growth rate of 6.6% was achieved in the fiscal year 2021/2022 despite the challenges, so this positive growth will continue in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2022/2023, recording 4.4%.
El-Said said that the government expects a growth rate of between 4.8 and 5% during the current fiscal year, indicating that these rates are relatively high, and are driven by productive sectors such as tourism, communications, information technology, agriculture, logistics, and retail services, and the activity of the Suez Canal.
She indicated that the tourism sector is witnessing a very strong performance, pointing out that the number of tourists increased by 55% in the first quarter of the current fiscal year compared to last year.
She affirmed the government's striving to maximize the potential of the sector as a major driver of growth, adding that the revenues of the Suez Canal increased by about 30%, indicating its strategic importance.
She noted that foreign direct investment is a high priority, stating it had risen to more than 90% in the last fiscal year, with expectations that by 2023 and over the next few years, it will reach over a billion dollars.
She added that the government followed a strategy to rationalize capital and operational expenditures as part of a broader strategy to stabilize public financial conditions and reduce pressure on foreign currencies.
She noted that the past few years witnessed a trend towards an increase in public investment, stressing the importance of this to restore stability in the markets and modernize the deteriorating infrastructure, after a period of political and economic turmoil.
She pointed out that the government had launched a series of public consultations at the national level to meet the specific demands of business representatives in all industries and geographical locations.
El-Said added that the document highlights three main mechanisms that include offering state-owned assets through the Egyptian Stock Exchange to expand the ownership base in whole or in part while pumping private investments for the private sector into the current structure of state ownership through the participation of strategic investors and strengthening the participation of the private sector in the ownership structure.
El-Said talked about The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (TSFE), which represents the investment arm of the government, and acts as a catalyst and reliable partner for private sector investors through the three mentioned mechanisms.
El-Said added that he is also working hard to unleash Egypt's potential as a gateway to Africa, by creating attractive investment products across several sectors, including renewable energy sources and green hydrogen, tourism, real estate, and logistics.
Regarding Egypt's benefit from the COP27 Climate Summit, El-Said explained that after the conference's tremendous success, environmental protection was considered a long-term investment that enhances flexibility and has no cost to the government.
El-Said confirmed that Egypt's sovereign fund is working hard to support a fair energy transition, noting that 9 prominent framework agreements were signed during the Conference of the Parties for the production of green hydrogen, with expected investments of about $85 billion.
El-Said explained that many other agreements are expected to follow to benefit from the unique natural and logistical resources found in Egypt.
El-Said also drew attention to the signing of other agreements to establish renewable energy stations, explaining that a green water desalination program is being implemented to complement these efforts.
El-Said also referred to the launch of EGYCOP as the first direct investment company in Egypt in the field of emissions compensation, and the involvement of the private sector in financing such climate-related projects.
For his part, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said Egypt has a genuine political will that is stimulating investments to make the country a hub for production and re-exportation to various world countries, especially African ones.
HE added that Egypt is carrying out different development projects that provide distinguished investment opportunities in promising sectors, covering renewable energy and green hydrogen.
He pointed out that the Golden License, the State's Ownership Policy Document and the Initial Public Offering (IPO) program are all part of efforts meant to promote private investments in the country.
He asserted that despite serious repercussions of the global economic crises, the country is going ahead with maintaining stability of taxation policies in order to scale up investment activities.
He stated that a document for Egyptian taxation policies will be soon announced for the next five years.
He, also, said reforms that have been made in Egypt since 2016 have mainly contributed to boosting its economic recovery from domestic and foreign crises, including the war in Europe and the bad impacts of Covid-19 pandemic.