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Monday, 13 July 2020

Al Mashat on the government’s response to the covid crisis, the future of tourism and GERD

Al Mashat on the government’s response to the covid crisis, the future of tourism and GERD: The government is working to support 1.5 mn seasonal workers it had identified as vulnerable to the economic fallout from covid-19 and help integrate them within the formal economy, International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat told CNBC in an interview (watch, runtime: 7:08). “We now have 1.5 mn informal workers on the formal books, and that has been helped by a speed up in financial inclusion regulations,” Al Mashat said. Marina Wes, the World Bank’s regional director in Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti, said in April that the private sector and informal workers are expected to be especially affected from the economic fallout and the lockdown.

Covid-19 has forced policy innovation: The dramatic economic effects of the pandemic have pushed policymakers, the business community, civil society and citizens to be “innovative in the way they think about [the crisis],” Al Mashat says.

Tourism recovery a ‘wait and see’: The unpredictable nature of the pandemic and its effects on consumer demand make it difficult to forecast how a recovery in the tourism and aviation sectors will play out, Al Mashat says. Authorities are working closely with the World Travel and Tourism Council and the UN World Tourism Organization to ensure health standards are maintained, the former tourism minister said.

GERD: Al Mashat refused to comment on whether the diplomatic clash between Egypt and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam could deteriorate, expressing confidence that the foreign affairs and irrigation ministers will be able to secure an agreement.

*** We recently had a sit-down with Al Mashat for the first episode of Enterprise After Hours, our new podcast featuring business leaders, policymakers and cultural icons. You can listen to the episode on our website, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Anghami, Omny, or Spotify (for non-MENA accounts). You can also check out edited excerpts of our conversation.

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