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Egyptian Economic News

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Please post all Egyptian economic news in here.
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Egypt ICT sector grows 12.6 percent in first quarter

The Egyptian ICT sector posted revenues of LE10.06 billion in the first quarter, down 2.62 percent from the fourth quarter but still up 12.6 percent year-on-year.

Telecommunications companies contributed LE8.45 billion in the quarter, up from 7.50 billion a year ago, while the telecom sector saw its cost base increase to LE5.59 billion from LE5.36 billion last year. According to the communications ministry's quarterly bulletin, the ICT sector contributed 3.7 percent to real GDP and 0.46 percent to real GDP growth in the quarter.

The country finished March with 44.6 million mobile subscribers, up from 41.3 million at the end of 2008 and 32.2 million in March 2008. Mobile penetration rose to 58.9 percent of the population from 54.8 at the end of December. The fixed-line subscriber base stood at 15.6 million, down from 15.7 million in the fourth quarter but up from 15.1 million a year ago.

The number of internet subscribers increased to 13 million from 12.57 million in December and 10.9 million a year earlier, while ADSL users rose to 787,638 from 718,847 in the fourth quarter. The country's international bandwidth grew to 48 Gbps from 27 Gbps in the fourth quarter. According to the World Bank price basket methodology, the monthly cost in Egypt in the first quarter was $4.55 for a fixed line, $3.59 for mobile services and $4.45 for internet service. – Telecom
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Egypt boosts gas and oil reserves

Egypt has boosted its proven natural gas reserves figure to 77.2 trillion cubic feet (tcf) on 30 June 2009, an increase of 1.2 trillion tcf on the figure from a year earlier.

The country's oil reserves rose by 220 million barrels to 4.4 billion barrels for the 2008-09 year, according to a report issued by Egypt's Oil Ministry.

Energy majors have focused their Egyptian drilling activities in the Gulf of Suez and the Mediterranean Sea, and there have been a number of gas discoveries in 2009.

The UK's BP estimates Egyptian gas reserves were 76.6 tcf at the end of 2008, up from 73 tcf at the end of 2007. It says the country's oil reserves stood at 4.3 billion barrels at the end of 2008, up from 4.1 billion barrels a year earlier.
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Egypt economy to grow 5.3–5.5 pct in fiscal year 09/10, says minister​

CAIRO: Egypt is expected to see an economic growth rate ranging between 5.3 and 5.5 percent in the 2009/2010 fiscal year, Minister of Economic Development Othman Mohamed Othman said Tuesday.

The country’s economic growth came in at 4.7 percent in fiscal year 2008/09, Othman said in a press conference, above forecasts of a 4.5 percent growth rate.

Egypt’s fiscal year begins in July.

The global economic crisis had a relatively minimal impact on the Egyptian economy with fewer implications than expected. “Eighty percent of the growth was [spurred] by domestic demand,” Othman said.

Egypt is considering another stimulus package of between LE 10 billion and LE 15 billion in the current fiscal years, following an injection of LE 15 billion in infrastructure spending during the last fiscal year to create jobs and cope with the effects of the economic crisis.

“The discussion is open [between the prime minister and cabinet] and a decision should be made by October or November,” he added.

The Minister of Finance, however, did not welcome a second round of economic stimulus as it would increase the budget deficit by 1 percent. Egypt’s current budget deficit is 6.9 percent.

Economic growth came in at 5.8 in the first quarter of fiscal year 2008/09, 4.1 percent in the second quarter and 4.3 in the third quarter.

Othman said the period where Egypt was most affected by the crisis was the second quarter of 2008/09, with major revenue earners such as tourism and Suez Canal receipts being hit hard.

Suez Canal revenues were down 8.4 percent to $435 million, tourism revenues fell 3.1 percent to $339 million, oil exports dropped 24 percent to $3.467 billion and non-oil exports fell 4.8 percent to reach $719 million.

Remittance declined by 11.7 percent and foreign direct investment (FDI), which had been steadily increasing over the past years and is largely seen as propping economic growth, dropped 38.7 percent.

A report released by the ministry Tuesday attributed the steep decline in FDI to the losses incurred by international companies and investors due to tumbling world markets as well as the uncertainty accompanying the crisis.

Financial investment also fell with income from investments abroad dropping 41 percent and stock market investment sliding 470.6 percent.

“Foreign companies sold notes and government bonds and shares in the Egyptian stock market in the wake of volatilities in the [global] markets and fears of taking more risks,” the report said.

As economic growth slows, said Osman, so does the government’s ability to create jobs.

The rate of jobs creation fell 13 percent with only 600,000 new opportunities in fiscal year 2008/09, down from 690,000 the year before.
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Egypt sees economic growth of up to 5.5% in current fiscal year

EGYPT. Egypt's economy will expand as much as 5.5% this fiscal year, Bloomberg reported citing Economic Development Minister Osman Mohamed Osman.

The economy grew 4.7% in the April to June fiscal quarter, compared with 4.3% in the previous three months, Osman told the news provider. “Eighty percent of the growth was achieved due to domestic demand,” he added.

The strong performance has led the government to raise its forecast for this year to 5.3%-5.5% from below 5%, Osman said.

The communication and information technology industry expanded 14.6% followed by construction which grew 11.4%. Wholesale and retail trade expanded 6.2%, while transportation grew 5.5%, according to Economic Development Ministry data.
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Egyptian Satellites completes 70 percent of works on new $250 million satellite​

Egyptian Satellites (NileSat) completed 70 percent of works on satellite 201 while launching its operation is expected to take place next June, the company’s chairman, Amin Bassiouny, said. The new $250 million satellite coverage will exceed current ones. BNP PARIBAS bank financed 85 percent of the cost ($168 million). Bassiouny reported that, company repaid $75 million for manufacturing company through self finance while final designs and units have been completed. Egyptian Satellites has signed manufacturing contract with French company TAILS while launching contract was concluded with French company ERIAN. –– MENA
Al Ismailia Seeks $80 million to restore Cairo’s faded center​

Cairo developer Al Ismailia for Real Estate Investments plans to raise $80 million from investors to buy and restore crumbling buildings in the Egyptian capital’s center to their late 19th-century elegance.
Al Ismailia, whose shareholders include Egyptian billionaire Samih Sawiris and Saudi private-equity firm Amwal Al Khaleej, will start raising funds from investors in Egypt and other Middle East countries starting in October, Chief Executive Officer Karim Shafei said in interview last week. The process will probably take two or three months, he said.
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Egypt's first solar energy unit to operate in 2010

Egypt's first solar power station will operate at full capacity in 2010, state news agency MENA reported on Monday.

The agency quoted Minister of Electricity Hassan Younes saying the station, located just south of Cairo in Koraymat, would have a capacity of 140 megawatts.

The power station is part of a larger facility that also includes three non-solar units and is expected to generate 2,900 megawatts once it comes on-stream.

Younes said the project was already connected to the national electricity distribution grid, adding that 99 percent of Egypt's population was connected to the grid, the highest rate in Africa.

Egypt aims to generate 20 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020.

Officials say Egypt's combined oil and gas reserves will last the country for roughly three more decades. –Reuters
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Egypt’s first quarter 2009/10 growth at 4.9 pct​

CAIRO: In what amounts to the first hint of how Egypt’s economy performed in the first quarter of fiscal year 2009/10, reports have circulated that real GDP growth is expected to have been 4.9 percent between July and September 2009.

This number first surfaced after Bloomberg quoted the Minister of Economic Development discussing the new numbers.

A 4.9 percent growth is a positive step for the economy, which grew only 4.5 percent between April and June of this year. And increase in growth of nearly half a percent will add fuel to the argument that Egypt is in full rebound mode.

The economy grew by 4.7 percent in fiscal year 2008/09, which ended in June, after growth of 7.2 percent in fiscal year 2007/08.

The latest figures also show the beginning of a return to the economic performance Egypt experienced as the global economic collapse began. Economic growth was 5.8 percent in the first quarter a year ago. That quarter showed the beginning of the Wall Street meltdown, capped by the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

“The first quarter 4.9 percent growth in GDP is a strong outturn for the Egyptian economy and continues the trend of stronger economic growth since the trough in quarter two of 2008/09, where GDP growth was 4.1 percent,” Tudor Allin-Khan, chief economist and strategist for HC Securities, wrote in an email to Daily News Egypt.

“The increase in growth has been stimulated by government spending, most particularly in the construction sector, which expanded 13.8 percent,” he added.

Allin-Khan tempered his optimism, though, noting that the construction sector only makes up a small percentage of the economy.

The communication and transportation sectors also led the way in facilitating the rebound in real GDP growth.

Tourism, a real cash cow for the government, only grew by 5.4 percent, a figure that will have to dramatically improve should Egypt hope to post more robust growth numbers going forward.

"Sectors that are still negatively affected are Suez Canal revenues and tourism, while sectors that are growing include construction and telecoms. These are growing in double digits, over 13 percent," Cabinet spokesman Magdi Rady told Reuters.

The government has taken a proactive stand to insure that economic growth gets back on track. After years of reform, the economy had finally begun posting the sort of numbers that, if sustained, would mean a general economic improvement for ordinary Egyptians. The economic meltdown worldwide derailed that progress, but the government seems determined to correct course.

“The government is injecting LE 8 billion into the economy in fiscal year 2009/10, with a recent announcement by the government that it will inject another LE 10 billion in the current year, as well, to ensure the achievement of a growth rate ranging between 5 percent and 5.5 percent,” wrote Beltone Financial in a note.

There is a certain urgency in the need to spur recovery in Egypt, because the job market stands to suffer significantly if higher GDP growth rates are not achieved.

“The Egyptian economy needs to attain an economic growth rate of 5 percent per annum to accommodate new entrants to the labor market. An economic growth rate below this mark will result in a rise in unemployment with the Egyptian economy,” wrote Allin-Khan.

Allin-Khan noted that Egypt’s GDP growth remains among the strongest in the region. But given the unemployment situation, Egypt likely needs to remain a leader to keep its citizens employed.
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Some bad news people:
CAIRO: Urban consumer inflation in Egypt rose to 13.3 percent in the year to October compared to 10.8 percent in September, the state statistics agency reported on Tuesday, a bigger jump than analysts had forecast.

Three analysts forecast urban inflation — the most closely watched indicator — would rise to 11-11.5 percent in October.

The consumer price index for urban areas was 144.4 in October 2009 compared to 127.5 in October 2008, a rise of 13.3 percent, the statistics agency CAPMAS reported on its website.

"This was an unpleasant surprise," said Sally Mikhail, a senior analyst at Naeem Holding.

She had been expecting the central bank to keep rates on hold at least to the end of 2009. "The 13 percent may require an increase sooner than that. Unfortunately this goes against the requirement for growth," she said.

But she said much would depend on what happened to core inflation, which strips out more volatile items like food. The central bank started publishing its core inflation figure last month, saying it was 6.3 percent in September.

On an annual basis, food prices rose by 22.2 percent in October, up from 17.4 percent in September, and were also up 2.6 percent from last month.

“It appears that the prices of grains, meat, fish, fruits and vegetables and sugar rose at a faster pace in October than in September 2009, reflecting the change in international commodity prices,” said Beltone in a statement.

Other analysts said they would be watching for the core inflation figure and said the central bank could start a new cycle for tightening interest rates sometime in 2010.

The government said last month its target for core inflation was 6-8 percent and said it did not want to take any policy action that would curb growth which the government said was expected to be around 5 percent in the financial year 2009/10.

The central bank has not announced its "comfort zone" for inflation.

The central bank kept key overnight interest rates steady on Thursday, saying the current level would support growth and control inflation in the medium term. The overnight lending rate is 9.75 percent and the deposit rate is 8.25 percent.

Thursday's decision to hold rates was the first pause since the bank began cutting in February. Since then it cut rate six times after inflation fell from a mid-2008 high of 23.6 percent.

Beltone analyst Reham ElDesoki had forecast 11.5 percent for October urban inflation and had seen inflation reaching 15 percent by the end of 2009. She said the unexpected October rise meant inflation could now hit 17 percent by the end of the year.

"Depending on how core inflation data is impacted, we expect the Central Bank of Egypt could commence a monetary tightening cycle sometime in 2010, depending on the strength of non-food inflation and whether the government raises energy prices or not," she wrote in a research note. –Additional reporting by Mohamed Samir.
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ARGH now this is unfair they took my idea of solar power in Egypt, but I hope they don't do it exactly as I planned! BTW 20% in 2020 Come'on that is nothing at least 50% I want to see Egypt totally green before I die :p

and :( about the last one from red ahlawy.
مصر تتطلع لتصدير الطاقة الشمسية لكن التكلفة مرتفعة
القاهرة (رويترز) - قالت مصر يوم الثلاثاء انها ترغب في زيادة انتاجها من الطاقة الشمسية لغرض التصدير لكن ينبغي أن تنخفض تكاليف التقنية أولا حتى تكون مُجدية اقتصاديا.

وتعتزم مصر بدء تشغيل أول محطة للطاقة الشمسية في 2010 .

وتهدف مصر لتوليد 20 في المئة من الكهرباء من مصادر مُتجددة بحلول 2020. وتملك حاليا طاقة توليد باستخدام الرياح قدرها 430 ميجاوات وتسعى لاضافة 120 ميجاوات أخرى بحلول منتصف 2010 .

ويتوقع أن تلبي طاقة الرياح 12 في المئة من احتياجات البلاد من الكهرباء بحلول 2020 لكن مشروعات الطاقة الشمسية متأخرة.

وقال وزير الكهرباء والطاقة المصري حسن يونس لرويترز ان تكلفة الطاقة الشمسية أعلى بنحو أربع مرات من تكلفة الطاقة الناتجة من الدوائر المركبة ولذلك فعندما تبدأ التكلفة في التراجع الى المثلين أو ثلاثة أمثال كحد أقصى فستبدأ الدول النامية في الاستثمار بكثافة في هذا النشاط.

وأضاف أن التصدير يأتي ضمن خطط الحكومة لكن مع الوضع في الاعتبار تطوير تقنية مناسبة ونشرها حتى ينخفض السعر.

ويتركز سكان مصر في نحو عشرة بالمئة من مساحتها. وتوجد في البلاد مساحات صحراوية شاسعة يمكن إنشاء محطات للطاقة الشمسية عليها.

كما تقع أكبر الدول العربية من حيث عدد السكان في الحزام الشمسي حيث تسطع الشمس عليها طوال العام.

وقال يونس في مؤتمر بشأن الطاقة المتجددة ان مصر يمكنها التصدير الى أوروبا عبر ليبيا وتونس اللتين ترتبطان بالمغرب وأسبانيا.
وأضاف أنه كخطوة أولى ستقوم مصر بتركيب محطات تبلغ طاقتها 140 ميجاوات من مشروع للطاقة الشمسية جنوبي القاهرة في منطقة الكريمات للاستهلاك المحلي بنهاية 2010.

وتتطلع الحكومات الغربية التي تعتمد بدرجة كبيرة على روسيا كمصدر للطاقة الى الطاقات المتجددة لخفض انبعاثات الغازات المسببة للاحتباس الحراري. وتتصور بعض الخطط استيراد الطاقة الشمسية من افريقيا

Very nice, I am glad to hear that. that is 1+ to our economy.
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hey guys... this week's al-ahram weekly issue looks at how egypt would be by 2020... they have some very interesting articles and interviews... check it out...

here is one...

Charting the course
Youssef Boutros Ghali, Egypt's minister of finance, is seen by the people as someone out to empty their pockets. He does indeed have the unenviable job of filling up the coffers. But the task is necessary and is left up to Ghali who knows the Egyptian economy inside out, having been involved for the past 20 years in the country's economic policy-making process while holding portfolios of the economy, foreign trade and international cooperation. Late last year Ghali was chosen to chair the 24-member International Monetary and Financial Committee, the policy-steering committee of the International Monetary Fund, thus becoming the first representative from a developing country to hold such a high-ranking position. He tells Niveen Wahish where he hopes to see the Egyptian economy in 10 years and what needs to be done to get there.

Where do you see the Egyptian economy going in 10 years time?

In 10 years I see the Egyptian economy at the same level where Italy and Turkey are today. These are economies that are well structured, well established and have institutions that function.

Don't you think this is too ambitious?

I tend to be too ambitious but most of the time I get what I want.

Would that be your best case scenario?

More ambitious than that would be fiction. This is what I think we can do and what we should be aiming for.

What is it that we have that could make this possible?

We have everything; resources, people, the labour force, a huge market, a great geographical position, agriculture, tourism and raw materials. In short, we are a rich country.

But we've always been a rich country...

We can mismanage our resources and not do anything with them. But if managed properly we can be a dominant economic regional power in Africa. We can stand up to South Africa if we want in 10 years.

What guarantees are there that it will be managed properly?

What provides a sort of guarantee is that we have functioning institutions that are not dependent on one man. What I am trying to do and I hope my colleagues will try to do as well is build an institution that functions efficiently irrespective of who is in charge. The person in charge provides political guidance, policy directives but the day-to- day running of the institution is self- generating. It has its own momentum, its own dynamics and its own efficiency. And it does not rely on whether the minister is competent or not. This is what guarantees proper management of the economy.

What would be the worst case scenario?

The worst case scenario starts today -- if we lose control of the budget deficit and if we decide to spend more than we can afford with the excuse that the economy is not growing and we need to generate jobs.

Failure to generate resources, by whining about the property tax or the energy subsidies, coupled with a failure to maintain discipline in the budget by keeping the expenditure within the limits that are sustainable, means that we lose control of the budget deficit, domestic debt and ultimately our spending. If we do this, the first to suffer is infrastructure and investment. If investment and infrastructure spending decline, then the productivity of the economy declines. When that happens you cannot achieve growth rates of seven and eight per cent. That would be the beginning of a secular decline where we sort of hum along at three to four per cent growth every year. We get nowhere and population growth is way ahead of whatever we can do. And the situation goes from bad to worse.

What is a sustainable budget deficit?

If I can address the level of our domestic debt, my sustainable budget deficit can be in the order of three to five per cent. Right now it is 8.5 per cent for 2009/10. It is an exception. And we did this on purpose. We cannot keep it up. We are going to have to scale back spending or raise resources. If we fail to do this then we put ourselves on a slippery slope where we weaken our capacity to generate growth in the medium term. And with the lower capacity to generate growth our problems grow faster than we can solve them. And we run into stagnation.

What is the ideal growth rate we should be targeting?

We can go to 15 per cent if we want. It is a matter of policy and commitment. If we are committed to getting 10 per cent growth rate we will get it, but it entails policies and reform measures that target spending and revenue generation.

What policies and reforms do we need in the next 10 years?

Expand infrastructure development, get the private sector more involved in infrastructure development, limit the distortions caused by subsidies and eliminate distortions caused by inadequate taxation. We fixed the income and property taxes. We need to fix the Value Added Tax (VAT). It is still distorted and needs to be revisited.

Once we are past this crisis we can restore growth at around 7.5 to 8.5 per cent. If we can maintain this for five years I can almost guarantee a significant improvement in the standard of living of all Egyptians. But I need five consecutive years at above 7.5 per cent.

Do you see Egypt becoming an OECD member or one of the top 50 economies?

Maybe it could become one of the top 50 economies in 10 years. We cannot get there any faster. Membership of the OECD is not so much about the wealth of the economy as much as it is about how it is run. If you are running properly and you have proper management tools and proper governance and proper statistics and proper procedures for managing the government, then you can be a member of the OECD without problems.

How can the Egyptian economy deal with global crises?

If you have a well run economy you can survive crises. It is like somebody who gets the flu. If his or her health is not good, the flu could kill them. If his or her health is good, they will fall sick for a couple of days and then get back on their feet. Had we not done the reforms we did in the past five years, the first crisis of commodity price increases followed by the global financial crisis would have killed us completely. Had these two crises happened in 2004, we would be dead by now.

But we are in perfect health considering the international situation. We are considered one of the top three highest growing countries in the world after China and India. We are doing well, not good enough to change significantly the standard of living of Egyptians; 4.5 and 4.7 per cent growth rates are not enough. We need seven per cent. But by international standards we are miraculous.

How do you see the economy absorbing more than 100 million population in 10 years?

It is a matter of management. A properly managed economy can absorb these numbers but of course it is making life more difficult. If you are running and you carry a weight you are going to run slow. Take off the weight and you will run fast. The more we can control population growth, the better off everybody is. But population growth can torpedo everything we do if it continues at present rates; there is no growth in the world that can accommodate that. We would need to be growing at 10 and 12 per cent like China. And it requires much more brutal measures to generate income and revenues and to spend more on infrastructure and spend more on growth.

Developing economies like Brazil, India, South Africa and Mexico have grown extensively. What do they have that we don't?

Good management. They have good macroeconomic policies and they have good social policies.

There is criticism that Egypt's safety nets have not been given enough attention in the reform process...

On the contrary, they have been granted attention but we face resistance from society whenever we try to look at these safety nets in depth. We cannot go on having the system as it is. This needs to change. But there is a lot of mistrust of the government. Whenever we say we are going to fix subsidies, everybody thinks we are going to dump people by the side of the road. That is not true.

What we know is that we cannot afford our systems as they are now, with a lot of waste and a lot of assistance that goes to people that do not deserve it and do not need it. We need to reform this system and we need the support of society at large. The message that is not getting across is that we want to reform the subsidies system and to reach out to more people who are not being helped by the subsidy system as it stands. But of course in the meantime, we will have to kick out people who do not deserve it. Those are the ones who make the most noise and who are not helping us reform the system. It is the same sort of resistance that the property tax is receiving. The property tax is going to touch the rich and it is they who are most against it.

How is the development of direct money assistance vis-a-vis subsidies coming along?

We need to be able to identify the poor. We are working on targeting systems, and putting smart cards in the hands of families so that we can track and transfer money to them. But it takes time and there is huge resistance.

How about fears that when people start receiving money handouts prices will escalate?

Then we will increase the money. People think that we want to change the system so that we can kick people out. We do not. If we give money I can guarantee you there will be an excess supply of commodities. Now people are consuming commodities because they are cheap. They are not consuming, they are wasting. Bread is being thrown away and ends up as cattle feed because the loaf costs LE0.05. Give the money to the person deserving the subsidies and put the price of the loaf at LE0.25. All this waste will disappear. And consumption is going to drop.

What type of reforms should we expect in the upcoming decade?

The coming decade will need to see massive reforms in education. This must be at the core of our planning for the next decade if we are to maintain high growth rates. Massive reform in healthcare and reform in the financial system are also needed. Our banking system needs to be upgraded. It is in good health but it is neither efficient nor effective. You need a banking system that is active, that finances growth and goes into projects and expands the reach of the private sector. Our banking system is healthy but it does not like risk. It should be more involved in pushing the country to grow. Now they are not; they are being dragged into it. They need to address problems of small and medium enterprises, but they do not because it is difficult, because it requires new skills. It is profitable but it is a hassle and they go for the easy solutions. The easy solutions keep them healthy but it does not help the economy.

In the past decade we saw serious reforms like privatisation. Should we expect something similar in the next 10 years?
We need to resolve the public sector once and for all by getting rid of it one way or the other. By getting rid of it I do not mean it in the sense of property. I can still own it but it needs to be managed like the private sector.

What's keeping us from doing it now?

Resistance in society at large. They refuse and are fearful that we are going to create unemployment. But we are one of the few countries in the world that has privatised without increasing unemployment.

What about the public ownership plan?

That is an idea whose time has passed.

There is criticism that the government is bailing out of the health and education systems.

This again is an issue of mistrust. We are doing this to be more efficient. There is nothing wrong to ask for healthcare to be provided by the private sector if I control what the public pays. I contract for it and the public pays me.

Looking back at the financial crisis, do you believe capitalism has gone beyond control?

That is nonsense. It needs regulation of a different kind. Capitalism is not a managed system. It is a system that grows intrinsically. And it grows by crises. The Great Depression of 1929 brought in central banks, social security and all sorts of regulatory practices that were not there before. Other crises came and brought in other regulations. This crisis will bring in a new regulatory system that will help address what has evolved in the economy. Some areas have evolved without regulation because they evolved too fast. Now they are going to be regulated. This is in the nature of capitalism; every time there is a crisis we discover that we are missing something. It's a system that is dynamic and based on innovation. And with innovation you come into virgin territories.

I am not saying that it is not painful, but that is the nature of it. We will have crises in the future of a different nature than the one we had today, just as the one we had today is different than previous crises.

Should there be a greater role for the government?

There is a different role for the government, not greater. We need to regulate things that we did not regulate and control things that we did not control. For example, the derivatives market was not regulated properly and the same goes for the hedge funds. And the way banks interacted between various regulatory environments left a loophole. The banks would go to the market that was least regulated and because the economy has become globalised, that had become very easy, which means that now that the economy is globalised we need to have a global regulatory infrastructure that is the same everywhere.

There were too many loopholes because the system outgrew the regulatory infrastructure. Now we are going to put regulation in front. Very soon, in 10-30 years the system will outgrow these regulations, too, and we will have to put new rules.

From your vantage point in the IMF, how do you see the role of the IMF in all this?

The IMF is the main clearing house for regulations. It keeps track of the health of the international system. Somebody has to supervise the international system from above and keep track of the various cross national flows, transactions and impacts. The IMF should have a better regulatory structure and better access to analysis and more control in what it says to economies. Its advice needs to be taken more seriously, and it needs to have tools to enforce its advice on countries, especially the large ones; the small ones are easy. It is the large ones that do not listen to the advice and later we run into problems for all of us.

But how do you explain the fact that the IMF has been criticised for giving advice that affected countries negatively?

I am not saying the IMF does not make mistakes, but at least it is present. In the past crisis it was not there. This is wrong. The IMF needs to be involved. It may make mistakes, but by managing it through the member countries we learn from these mistakes.

To what extent is Egypt a fully-fledged market economy?

You judge an economy by its results. If it is bringing in results, raises the standard of living, creates jobs, and grows by seven and eight per cent, who cares if it is a communist or a capitalist economy? If it works then it is good. We can be the best capitalist economy in the world but if it does not work, I will go the other way.

When will the results of reform trickle down to the average citizen?

When we have growth. We had growth rates of seven per cent for two and a half years then the situation started plunging. There is not enough to trickle down. In four years we created three and a half million jobs. The people who found these jobs have felt it trickle down to them. We have increased the potable water capacity by 25 per cent. The people who now have potable water have felt it. We have increased the sewage capacity from 42 per cent to 60 per cent. That 18 per cent has felt the difference. But we still have people who do not have sewage and we have people who do not have enough water. And we still have people who get incomes below what is necessary for proper living. There is a lot more that needs to be done but we need to be able to have five years of seven per cent growth every year. Then I can guarantee it is going to trickle down.

How optimistic are you about the future?

You cannot work at something unless you are optimistic and you think that you are going to make a difference. I know that this country can be a strong, powerful, comfortable, and prosperous country. We just need to put our heads to it and do what needs to be done.
sory for the long post...
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That is an incrdible article, thankyou so much for sharing. I have faith in Boutros Ghali, he's optimistic and has good ambitions for the country, we need more people like him.

Are there any more similar articles?

yes... there are some with osman.. economic development dude :p ... check the site
the solar energy plant video

Great Report!!

You could have posted it in the Infrastructure thread though :) :
The Egyptian experts evaluate the project to build an ultra modern hospital in Kinshasa Thursday, January 14, 2010
The Egyptian ambassador in DR Congo Mohamed Ezzeldin announced the end of the mission of Egyptian experts came to Kinshasa to assess the implementation of projects of bilateral cooperation between Cairo and Kinshasa in order to build a modern hospital in Kinshasa and a hydroelectric dam in order to contribute to the accessibility of quality care and improvement of electricity service in the DRC.

The Egyptian diplomat made the statement Wednesday in Kinshasa, after talks with Foreign Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba.

Mohamed Ezzeldin RODA said that construction of these works reflects the excellence of good political and economic relations between "our two countries."
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O_O that sound like those Egyptian really really sure that there country don't need help from them. HAHAHA but TBH I am glad to see not only USA, Aisia and Europe helping africans. I am Glad to see Africans helps Africans and that what we all as Africans should do united to conquer the world :p

EDIT: that was a bit sarcastic but i mean no offence to anyone.
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Thats Great News, good for Kinshasa, and I hope this relationship grows :cheers:

Correct me if i'm wrong, I beleive Egyptian Soldiers are also part of the UN Peace keeping force in the Congo right?
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