OBG Event

08 Oct 2012

Egypt’s efforts to drive through a raft of political and economic reforms as part of a wider bid to secure much-needed stability in the country are mapped out in a new investment guide published by the global publishing, research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG).

The Report: Egypt 2012 provides extensive coverage of the government’s plans to build on its strengths, which include a large, cost-effective workforce and broad range of natural resources, as it looks to win back foreign investors and tourists.

The landmark report was launched on October 8th at the Cleopatra Ballroom of the Semiramis Intercontinental Hotel, Cairo. The business community attended the launch, including the Minister of Investment Osama Saleh who spoke at the event and is interviewed in the publication.

The Report: Egypt 2012 contains a key contribution from the Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy, together with a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors. It also provides a wide range of interviews with leading political, economic and business representatives, including the former Minister of Electricity and Energy Hassan Younis, the Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt Farouk El Okdah, the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt Gamal Moharam and the Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Ahmed Ali Fadel. 

International personalities, such as the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States Nabil Elaraby, the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell Peter Voser and the Vice-Chairman of General Electric John Rice also offer their views on Egypt’s economic development.

The Report: Egypt 2012 puts the spotlight on the country’s energy sector as it prepares to take the first steps towards leveraging its natural gas deposits while pushing ahead with oil exploration and production. It explores the challenges the country faces in keeping pace with rapid growth in electricity demand, while also analysing how possible deregulation of downstream activities could help the segment develop.

With job creation high on the government’s priority list, OBG’s new report considers possible incentives that could help drive further growth in Egypt’s industrial sector as businesses look to gain greater access to regional markets. The Report: Egypt 2012 also charts the country’s strong performance in manufacturing, which is earmarked for further growth on the back of rising demand from a growing population and emerging segments such as online retailing.

The Group’s 2012 report documents the key construction projects in the pipeline as the government continues with its drive to develop Cairo’s suburbs. It looks at the opportunities emerging for public-private partnerships (PPPs) across a range of major projects and analyses the part that possible regulatory reforms could play in stimulating growth.

OBG has drawn on the expertise of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) and the General Authority for Investment (GAFI) for its new report. Additional research during the compilation of the report was provided by HC Securities, Deloitte and the law firm Helmy, Hamza and Partners.

Regional Editor Robert Tashima said that while Egypt had been forced to grapple with significant challenges during the past 18 months, including slowing growth and persistent socioeconomic worries, the long-term fundamentals of the market remained incredibly attractive.

“For those investors willing to ride out the short-term uncertainty, the returns in any number of sectors – from infrastructure to retail to telecoms – can be very promising,” he said. “The policy uncertainty and political risk are amongst the most pressing concerns, but a number of industries – such as consumer products and upstream energy – have managed to notch up growth even amidst the instability of the past year and a half, which provides an excellent indicator of Egypt’s latent potential.”

OBG’s Country Director Basak Pasali agreed that although Egypt still faced a number of hurdles, including employment issues and the need to boost revenues, expectations for economic reform were high. She also thanked the Group’s partners in the country, saying their local knowledge had provided valuable additional insight during the compilation of research for The Report: Egypt 2012. 

“Although in the midst of change, Egypt remains the Arab world’s second-largest economy, benefiting from strong fundamentals,” she said. “I am confident that our new report, which marks our tenth-anniversary publication on Egypt, will provide investors with clear and comprehensive coverage of the historical transition taking place in the country and the opportunities that this transformation is producing.”

The Report: Egypt 2012 marks the culmination of more than six months of field research by a team of analysts from OBG, assessing trends and developments across the economy, including macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments. The report is available in print or online.