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Wednesday, 26 October 2022

Last Night’s Talk Shows: Day 3 of the economic conference

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi took to the airwaves last night to talk all things economy, speaking just hours after he and Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly wrapped up a three-day economic conference. El Sisi spoke with Al Tasea’s Youssef El Husseiny (watch, runtime: 1:18:39). Here are the key takeaways from El Sisi’s interview:

On the new administrative capital: The new capital has generated EGP 2 tn in revenues so far — and only some 40k feddans of the capital’s 175k feddans have so far been developed, El Sisi said. The new capital could bring in some EGP 7.5 tn if land was sold at EGP 10k per sqm, he added. (Watch, runtime: 2:30)

We shouldn’t use the EGP-USD exchange rate as a measure of the health of our economy, the president said. The USD is soaring on the back of monetary tightening by the US Federal Reserve, affecting many global currencies, El Sisi said, noting that what is important is being able to create a surplus in the trade balance. (Watch, runtime: 3:17)

We need to reduce imports and up exports — but the task is not an easy one, El Sisi said. He said the Ebdaa initiative is working to encourage the local production of commonly imported production inputs, but noted that new factories take years to set up and begin employing workers. (Watch, runtime: 2:10)

We have a major funding problem in education: The education sector needs EGP 250 bn to be brought up to scratch — not even half of which is available, El Sisi said. We need 60k new classrooms every year, which alone would cost EGP 60 bn, he added. (Watch, runtime: 1:35)

The talking heads spent their night dissecting El Sisi’s two-hour closing speech at the conference. El Sisi used the speech to pledge more social protection measures and emphasize the state’s plan to open up more sectors to the private sector.

Below EGP 10k a month isn’t a livable wage, President El Sisi said. “Salaries are unacceptable … and less than EGP 10k for any working man is unlivable,” he said during his closing speech yesterday (watch, runtime: 3:37).

EGX revival? The state offering its companies on the EGX will help encourage other privately-held companies to make their EGX debuts and in turn revive the market, FRA chief Mohamed Farid told Hadret Al Mowaten (watch, runtime: 12:32).

More private sector love: The private sector is the main source of the state’s revenues and the factor that can help solve the employment issue, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait told Yahdoth Fi Masr (watch, runtime: 8:36).

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