Egypt: Proposal to Amend Strategy for Dealing with Debt

Egypt’s central bank in Cairo (Reuters)
Egypt’s central bank in Cairo (Reuters)
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Egypt: Proposal to Amend Strategy for Dealing with Debt

Egypt’s central bank in Cairo (Reuters)
Egypt’s central bank in Cairo (Reuters)

A member of the Egyptian parliament’s economic committee revealed a proposal to reduce monetary pressure, by addressing the debt problem, in light of the country’s severe currency crisis.

In exclusive remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, MP Ahmed Samir said that the proposed strategy included a plan to convert Egyptian debts into investments and projects, through an agreement with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

He explained: “If an agreement is reached with these two institutions to reduce Egyptian debt and transfer part of it to projects and investments, as happens with some other countries, this will reflect positively on the Egyptian credit rating.”

According to the Ministry of Finance’s financial report in September, Egypt spent 391.8 billion pounds on debt service in the first two months of the current fiscal year 2023/2024, with a 160-percent increase over the 149.9 billion pounds spent in the same period of the previous fiscal year.

This widened the budget deficit to 3.2 percent of GDP during the first two months, from 1.4 percent the previous year.

Samir said that Parliament’s economic committee was currently studying amending the capital law, to stimulate transactions on the Egyptian Stock Exchange by attracting new companies and increasing local and foreign offerings.

Despite the rise in Egyptian stock market indices over the past weeks, and the main index recording a new high of 24,300 points, supported by foreign purchases in Thursday’s session, the market capitalization of shares of listed companies amounts to 1.6 trillion pounds.

Moody’s, Fitch, and Standard & Poor's, have lowered Egypt’s credit rating, in light of a record rise in sovereign debt and debt service. In its latest report, Moody’s downgraded Egypt’s rating from B3 to Caa1.

In this context, the Egyptian deputy said: “We are currently comparing the Egyptian Stock Exchange to the Saudi Tadawul... Therefore, we see that the trading volume on the Egyptian Stock Exchange should double... We need more liquidity by offering more companies, and that is by increasing the incentives that we are currently studying.”

Egypt had launched the first version of the Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030, in 2016, as the basis for the comprehensive development process.

In early 2018, the country decided to update its sustainable development agenda with the participation of all stakeholders from development partners, in order to keep pace with the changes that occurred in the local, regional and global context.

The second version of Egypt’s Vision 2030 focused on explaining how the Egyptian contribution will serve the international agenda and the global context.



Saudi, British Companies Seek to Explore Sustainable Partnerships

Participants in the Great Futures Initiative conference which was recently held in Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Participants in the Great Futures Initiative conference which was recently held in Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Saudi, British Companies Seek to Explore Sustainable Partnerships

Participants in the Great Futures Initiative conference which was recently held in Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Participants in the Great Futures Initiative conference which was recently held in Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Several major national companies are participating in the UK-Saudi Sustainable Infrastructure Summit in London on June 24-26.

According to information made available to Asharq Al-Awsat, the Federation of Saudi Chambers is seeking to mobilize the largest possible number of companies specialized in sustainable infrastructure to explore partnerships with the United Kingdom in green construction, smart cities, and technologies.

The summit will address topics that touch on the importance of Saudi-British cooperation in developing and financing sustainable infrastructure and development of cities, in addition to green technology and renewable energy initiatives.

Trade Exchange

The event will be followed by a meeting of the sectoral working groups on June 25 and an evening celebration of the tenth anniversary of the British-Saudi Business Council. The Sports Investment Forum will be held on June 26.

The value of trade exchange between Saudi Arabia and Britain exceeded 17 billion pounds ($21 billion), while the two countries aim to increase the volume of bilateral trade to $37.5 billion by 2030.

In May, Riyadh hosted the Great Futures conference, one of the initiatives of the Saudi-British Strategic Partnership Council, which is chaired by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The conference sought to strengthen economic relations in several promising sectors, in addition to developing trade and mutual investment.

The two kingdoms explored opportunities through 60 initiatives in 13 sectors that enhance economic, trade and investment partnerships in all fields.

Speaking at the event in May, Saudi Minister of Commerce Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi said that the United Kingdom is the second largest exporter of services in the world, and that his country has promising opportunities and a will to diversify the economy.

He added that joint cooperation between the two countries covers various fields, with a focus on the commercial, financial, digital, cultural, educational and health sectors, as well as sports, tourism and entertainment.