Egypt recently held their “Egypt the Future” conference in the middle of March. The conference was held in Sharm el Sheikh at the Red Sea Resort. The aim of this conference was very straight forward, Abdel Fattah El Sisi, president of Egypt, needed to convince foreign investors that Egypt is a good place to invest now. His aim was to attract at least $60 billion in foreign investment. This meant he needed to convince attendees that Egypt is now stable economically, politically and currency wise. If these factors still feel too weak and investors fear another Arab Spring then Egypt won’t be able to attract the investment it needs to restore its infrastructure and lift people out of debt.
The country is currently suffering from inflation in the double digits, rampant youth unemployment and a power grid that is unstable and lacking enough electricity during peak energy use times such as the summer. The conference saw numerous high profile delegations from corporations such as Siemens, BP and GE. There were also contingents from countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The UAE has been one of Egypt’s biggest supporters and has been very avid about its support for Egypt.
The Senaat’s chairman Hussain Al Nowais has already pledged support for Egypt in numerous manners. The Senaat will provide $200 million loan that will support small businesses and micro industries. Hussain Al Nowais’ Khalifa Fund is also assisting with the construction of clean coal fired power plants to help re-stabilize the country’s power demands. The UAE sees the importance of returning Egypt to a stable economic power in the region capable of contributing to the region in a positive manner. The IMF is also attending the conference in order to discuss with other attendees and provide information.
Having attracted enough aid, it appears as though the country may be successful in turning its economy around and reducing poverty. The government has gone to great lengths to attract investment as well. Normally a great deal of red tape blocks investment, but recent laws have slashed away great swaths of that red tape in order to make foreign investments quicker and easier. These efforts will hopefully provide the country with a fertile setting that creates an economic recovery. Raising millions out of poverty will reduce the welfare demand on the state and make the country more independent.