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Sunday, 25 September 2022

Gov’t finalizes state ownership policy document

The gov’t has dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s on its state ownership policy: The Madbouly government has finalized its state ownership policy ahead of the economic conference that’s being planned for the end of this month, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said Thursday. The document is the product of three months of consultations with the both state and private-sector stakeholders and is expected to lay out a roadmap for large-scale privatization of the economy.

Refresher: The policy document was first launched by Madbouly in May as part of a wider plan to restructure the economy in favor of the private sector. The strategy envisions more than doubling the private sector’s role in the economy to 65% over the next three years, and attracting USD 40 bn in investment by 2026. The new privatization drive came following the economic crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine and during talks with the IMF for a new loan program.

A focus on competitive neutrality: The government’s privatization strategy will look to put in place a legal framework to safeguard market competition and prevent monopolistic practices by state-owned enterprises, Mahmoud Momtaz, head of the Egyptian Competition Authority, said. A competitive neutrality authority chaired by the PM has been set up to review legislation and draft competition rules. “You can't open the market for the private sector without first instituting clear-cut rules necessary for fair and transparent competition on the market,” Momtaz said.

What’s next? The draft document will head to the cabinet to be reviewed for approval, before it is brought to the National Dialogue for debate.

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