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Egypt conference anxiously awaited by international investors

Article - February 13, 2015

As Egypt returns to stability and its government implements progressive measures to remove barriers to investment, the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm El Shiekh this March will offer up an exciting series of business opportunities that will consolidate the country’s recovery, and pave a path to future prosperity

Egypt will host a landmark investment forum on 13-15th March, hoping to attract up to $15billion in projects covering energy, agriculture, tourism and the expansion of the Suez Canal.

The Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC) will take place in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh, where over 2000 people from business and politics will also see the Egyptian authorities unveil a new investment law.

With four years having passed since the January 2011 revolution which threw the country into a prolonged period of political and economic crisis, the Egyptian government – led by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi who was elected in a landslide election last May – is keen to showcase a new Egypt; where peace and stability have returned and the economy is recovering.

Indeed bold reforms to energy subsidies and taxes implemented last year have already led to heightened interest in the country. And after rating agencies Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch all upgraded Egypt’s investment outlook late in 2014, as well as the welcome return of the IMF in November, Egypt is hoping that March’s conference will help kick start its revival.

The three day forum will present the country’s long term development vision and medium term-socio economic program, as well as present how the government is removing barriers to investment by carrying out further reforms to reduce bureaucracy and increasing incentives for local and foreign firms.

Around 20 major projects are expected to be up for grabs at the EEDC, including the large scale development of the Suez Canal Zone. The $8.4billion project will double the canal’s daily capacity to handle giant freighters, while its accompanying business corridor will be developed to create a logistical, industrial, agricultural and tourism hub that will link markets and open Egypt to new frontiers. 

Energy is another key area of investment. With power generation and distribution historically a major cause of disruption to the Egyptian economy, the country plans to double generating capacity to 60,000 megawatts over the next decade.

Attendees at the EEDC will learn of such exciting opportunities in the energy sector, as well as a series of other mega developments prioritized to catalyze the country’s growth, with the conference serving as a bespoke matchmaker between investors within the private and public sectors or in public private partnerships. President El-Sisi himself will additionally be conducting one-on-one meetings with political and business leaders throughout the conference.

“The objective of the conference is to tell Egypt’s new story, that the country is on a new track,” explained Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Naglaa El Ehwany, in a recent press conference to announce the progress of conference preparations.

“The government is fundamentally changing how it operates in the economy and how it works with the private sector, while developing its human capital and supporting the less privileged segments of society. Getting this message across to the world and changing the investment scene in Egypt, through presentation of the new macro and sectoral strategies and investment opportunities is what will make this conference a success.”