Egypt… Between Elapsing Year and Hopeful One
Thursday، 12 January 2017 - 02:24 PM
By: Dr. Ahmad Abul Hassan Zarad
In spite of the political and security turmoil and instability, currently striking the Middle East, in addition to the major challenges facing Egypt at the moment; however, the internal political, economic and cultural developments are proceeding for a steady progress towards the future. On the external level, Egypt exerts strenuous diplomatic efforts on the regional and international arenas to secure its national interests and enhance the standing partnerships with all countries to serve construction and development issues.
Hence, in 2016, Egypt’s distinct presence in international forums, conferences and events is represented in the participation of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in many events, namely; the Group of Twenty (G20) in Chinese Hangzhou Summit on September 1, 2016, and the UN General Assembly meetings on September 18, 2016. Additionally, he attended Addis Ababa African Union (AU) Summit on January 1, 2016, and Kigali AU Summit on July 16, 2016. Moreover, he paid foreign visits to target closer cooperation with various countries in all areas. Such visits took him to Kazakhstan, Japan, South Korea in February 2016, Sudan on October 10, 2016, Portugal on November 21, 2016, the United Arab of Emirates on December 1, 2016, and Uganda on December 18, 2016.
On the domestic level, a few days before the year 2016 elapsed, Egypt has witnessed the launch of several development, cultural, service and other projects; salient of which are fish farms and Al-Nasr Floating Bridge and Culture Entertainment Center in Port Said. Furthermore, the new expansions of Al-Nasr Company for Intermediate Chemicals (NCIC), and the NCIC new Chlorine and Caustic Soda factory in Abu Rawash, Giza, were inaugurated.
The achievement of other giant projects is continuing, on top of which, is the New Administrative Capital of Egypt, whose economic returns range from enlarging the housing and urban area to providing job opportunities for youths as well as constructing of infrastructure to attract investments. This is a modern project that takes into consideration the ecological dimensions that keep pace with the latest technological and scientific developments, shown in a series of projects such as universities, technological hubs and the City of Knowledge. Within the framework of the one million and a half feddan project, the first wheat harvest started in Farafra area, the New Valley, on May 5, 2016.
The year 2016 witnessed the inauguration of 34 new projects with total investments valued at LE 16 billion. Moreover, the project of “Bashayer El-Khair 1” in Gheit El-Enab district, Alexandria was launched on September 26, 2016 with a total cost of LE 1.2 billion. In addition, the New Ismailia City was inaugurated on August 5, 2016, and “Tahya Misr” housing project at Al Asmarat district was inaugurated on May 30, 2016.
Last year, the political leadership took the most difficult decision; floating the exchange rate to achieve a bundle of objectives, salient of which are increasing exports, cutting imports, attracting investments; thus, providing the foreign currency, which will lead to improving the standard of living. In this respect, the International Monetary Fund loan agreement is viewed a trust certificate that not only confirms Egypt’s strong economy but also reinforces Egypt’s credit rating highlighted by international financial institutions with an outlook for a prosperous future.
Also, the State took a package of measures to protect the low-income people from the aftermath of the economic reform program. These measures include increasing the value of subsidy allocated for every person, who has a monthly subsidized goods card, from LE 18 to LE 21 as well as increasing the number of beneficiaries of “Solidarity and Dignity” program, launched by the Ministry of Social Solidarity from one million families to one million and seven hundred thousand by 30/6/2017.
In an attempt to attract investors, the Supreme Council of Investment took a number of resolutions including the allocation for free-industrial project lands with full utilities in Upper Egypt to investors, according to the regulations set by the Industrial Development Authority (IDA).
By the advent of the New Year, we hope that 2017 would be a better one, out of the fact that Egypt is not poor but rich in its renewable and various natural and human resources.
We have many investment opportunities on the Egyptian coasts that stretch for 995 km on the Mediterranean and 1941 km on the Red Sea in addition to 1532 km on the Nile River with its rich cultivated Delta.
Optimistically, the political and security conditions are currently more stable thanks to the process of the political reconstruction that has been entrenched after completing the roadmap, declared on July 3, 2013, with voting for the new Constitution in January 2014, holding the presidential elections in July 2014 and election of the House of Representatives that convened its first session in January 2016.
Thereupon, the construction process is continuing day and night, thus creating a national epic throughout Egypt… from the North to the South and from the East to the West, the matter which contributes, in a way or another, to realizing economic balance, laying down the foundations of social justice, curbing unemployment and poverty rates, and redistributing the population in several new cities, Sinai, the North Coast and their surroundings.
Day after another, the dream is coming true, thus showing the sincere will of change that builds and reconstructs to provide a decent life for every Egyptian nationwide.