Egypt entered the crisis strong, and will come out even stronger -Al Mashat
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger— This was the key message relayed by International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat who spoke of the Egyptian economy’s resilience through covid during a panel discussion at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum (watch, runtime: 31:54). Al Mashat — joined by UAE Minister of State and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company CEO Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, and Brookfield Asset Management CEO Bruce Flatt to discuss post-pandemic economics — recapped what Egypt has done to navigate the pandemic, reiterated its continued commitment to reform, and argued the case for Egypt as a lucrative destination for investment, covid or no covid.
Sticking to Plan A: Egypt had strong buffers that kept it relatively shielded from the economic fallout, primarily thanks to the IMF-backed economic reform program which enabled the policy transparency and predictability that is crucial for foreign investors, Al Mashat said. The approval of the USD 5.2 bn standby loan from the IMF during the crisis is a signal to investors that policymakers have not lost sight of the long-term reform goal, she said, adding that investments made in education and digital infrastructure enabled the country to “breeze through” the lockdown period.
Bringing in investors: With Egypt positioned to be among the handful of countries to avoid recession this year and the large infrastructure investment programs underway, the country will continue to attract investors in the post-covid economic climate, Al Mashat said. The government is aware of the importance of “stakeholder capitalism” which recognizes the need for all of society’s stakeholders to benefit from economic growth, she said, reiterating the importance of engaging the private sector across all industries.
In case you missed it: Al Mashat hit all these notes on Enterprise After Hours, our 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.