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Chapter | Tourism from The Report: Egypt 2020

After years of recovery following the 2011 revolution, Egypt is once again a sought-after tourist destination. In 2019 the sector contributed LE496.4bn ($30.6bn) to GDP, representing around 9.3% of the total, a 0.2% increase on the previous year. Although the spread of Covid-19 significantly impacted the industry in the first half of 2020, it is expected that growth will resume in 2021. Rising visitor numbers will be supported by the construction of Capital International Airport, which will serve the new capital city starting in late 2020 or early 2021. In addition, new flight routes are expected to open, connecting the country’s resorts and archaeological sites in order to draw in more leisure tourists, which account for around 86% of total visitor spending. It is hoped that the move to establish Egypt as a world leader in antiquities tourism, alongside the development of traditional sun-and-sea offerings, will reinvigorate the sector.

Chapter | Agriculture from The Report: Egypt 2020

Agriculture has long been a critical pillar of Egypt’s economy, strengthened by the rich natural conditions around the Nile. The country produces an array of fruits, vegetables, cereals, cotton, sugar and livestock for both domestic consumption and export. Despite challenging global factors, and growing concerns regarding the effects of climate change and urbanisation on water security, the agricultural sector continues to thrive. The country continues to tap into new markets, even amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Indeed, agricultural exports are strong, and by mid-May 2020 Egypt’s exports were more than half of the whole of 2019. New research and innovation initiatives will be key in teaching the next generation of farmers and sector officials improved methods, with the hope that these technologies will in time trickle down to the country’s small-scale farmers and set up the sector for a strong future.

Chapter | Transport & Logistics from The Report: Egypt 2020

As Egypt seeks to integrate more fully into global value chains, the development of transport infrastructure is a vital part of the country’s long-term growth. The government has made investment in the transport sector a priority – both in an effort to increase foreign trade, and to reduce urban congestion and pollution. The sector has been substantially impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with international flights halted and pressure placed on logistics infrastructure to ensure the uninterrupted provision of essential goods. Although the likely global economic downturn following the pandemic will present challenges for the transport sector in the short to medium term, the country’s growing population, strategic location at the crossroads of various international trade routes, and steady demand for goods and transport services should ensure that the sector’s long-term prospects are positive.

Chapter | Construction & Real Estate from The Report: Egypt 2020

In recent years the government has placed a strong emphasis on infrastructure and construction as a key engine of urban growth and financial stability. Although Covid-19 has halted progress on a number of upcoming projects, demand for housing and infrastructure should remain stable as the country’s population continues to rise. Longer-term growth is also likely to be fuelled by the growing trend of urbanisation, which is being supported by the government’s plans to develop new smart, environmentally friendly cities in an effort to double Egypt’s urban area from 7% to 14% by 2052. While demand for real estate is high, the sector is set to experience slowed growth in the near term as consumers choose to hold onto their cash. Nevertheless, government efforts to boost the mortgage financing segment may help stimulate demand. This chapter contains an interview with Magued Sherif, Managing Director, SODIC.

Chapter | ICT & Innovation from The Report: Egypt 2020

Economic diversification has been a boon to Egypt’s digital transformation in recent years. The government aims to develop the country into a regional and global centre for ICT, and efforts are being made to strengthen the regulatory framework, reduce the risk of cyberthreats and expand the telecommunications network. In particular, the rollout of 4G has led to a rise in data consumption and provided an opportunity for operators to develop new products. The introduction of 5G in the coming years will continue this trend and is set to play a key role in the country’s future, especially as it opens the New Administrative Capital, Egypt’s first smart city. Meanwhile, the start-up ecosystem is increasingly dynamic, supported by initiatives aimed at widening access to financing. The Covid-19 pandemic has made the sector even more central to economic development, with the impact of the virus accelerating the digitalisation of government entities and businesses. This chapter contains an interview with Adel Hamed, CEO, Telecom Egypt.

Chapter | Industry & Retail from The Report: Egypt 2020

Industry is front and centre of Egypt’s economic growth and diversification plans. The government aims to increase high-technology exports and boost the value of the manufacturing sector. To further enhance output and investment, Egypt continues to implement favourable policies, including the development of industrial zones and special economic zones. Although the sector will face challenges in the short term, a longer-term focus on infrastructure development is expected to soften the trend. Meanwhile, Egypt’s retail industry benefits from a growing population, affluent middle class and openness to new offerings. Although the pandemic is set to result in slower than anticipated growth in the short term, the government has taken steps to offset repercussions on the economy, such as raising online payment limits; increasing tax exemptions; and supporting informal workers. At the same time, customers are increasingly taking advantage of online retail options, which is likely to be a lasting trend in the post-Covid-19 world. This chapter contains interviews with Yehia Zaki, Chairman, Suez Canal Economic Zone; and Ahmed El Sewedy, President and CEO, Elsewedy Electric.

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