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Report | The Report: Egypt 2017

While Egypt continues to face considerable economic challenges as it confronts the legacy of its recent political history, at the outset of 2017 the nation’s economic planners have reason for optimism.

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Chapter | Legal Framework1 from The Report: Egypt 2017

OBG introduces the reader to the different aspects of the legal system in Egypt, in partnership with Helmy, Hamza & Partners. OBG talks to Mohamad Talaat, Managing Partner, Helmy, Hamza & Partners, on beneficial laws and current developments.

Chapter | Tax1 from The Report: Egypt 2017

In conjunction with Deloitte, OBG explores the taxation system, examining Egypt’s investor-friendly environment.

Chapter | Health & Education1 from The Report: Egypt 2017

Continued efforts to address the health care needs of its large and growing population have resulted in varied opportunities for the development of Egypt’s health care space, particularly in the form of private sector investment. While the country has continued to see some positive steps, especially in the arena of primary care access and infant and maternal care, progress has been stalled on some other priorities, including the long-promised universal health insurance initiative. While there is still some heavy lifting to be done, Egypt is likely to make progress on goals for quality and equitable health care access, if the government can meet its commitments to increase public spending on health initiatives, attract additional foreign investment for facility upgrades and research, and increase equity of access through the passage of the universal health coverage law. Overhauling the education system has remained on the Egyptian government’s long priority list following the 2011 revolution, and for good reason. In 2015 approximately 33% of the 92m-strong population were under the age of 15, according to the World Bank. The Strategic Plan for Pre-University Education Reform 2014-30 published by the Ministry of Education states that every child has an equal right to receive a quality education in accordance with international standards, thus allowing every child to contribute effectively to the social and economic development of the country and to compete regionally and globally.

Chapter | Agriculture & Agro-industry1 from The Report: Egypt 2017

Despite steadily increasing urbanisation in recent years, the agriculture sector remains a cornerstone of Egypt’s economy, both in terms of overall value-added output and employment. Egypt produces a wide range of crops and other agricultural products, including cereals such as wheat and corn rice, fruits and vegetables, sugar, cotton, dairy products, livestock and fish, among others. Solid support for agricultural activity on the part of the government and new opportunities for domestic and foreign investors alike point to an expansion of the sector in the coming years. However, Egypt’s agriculture sector still faces a range of challenges. High and rising rates of inflation are an issue, with the annual food and beverage inflation rate at 13.8% as of October 2016, up significantly from 11% a year earlier. The current government has set out a series of focused agriculture-focused programmes in a bid to address these issues. This chapter contains an interview with Ahmed El Rashidi, Managing Director, El Rashidi El Mizan.

Chapter | Tourism1 from The Report: Egypt 2017

The tourism industry in Egypt is continuing its drive to regain its international reputation as a world-class destination and to further develop non-traditional tourism niches, as the government remains determined for the sector to retain its position as a key driver of the economy and critical source of foreign currency, even after five challenging years. Indeed, with a variety of government-led initiatives, as well as regional and international support, operators are still hopeful the sector can regain momentum. However, given lingering security and currency issues, it is difficult to predict exactly what the coming years will hold for Egypt’s tourism sector. The industry would benefit from an extended period of peace and stability to enable tourist inflows to rebound. Yet with the government’s commitment to revive the industry through investing in both conventional and niche tourism, and its efforts to promote the country as an attractive destination, there is plenty of scope for long-term growth.

Chapter | Real Estate1 from The Report: Egypt 2017

Recent macroeconomic trends – particularly the depreciation of the Egyptian pound and the foreign currency shortage – reflected both positively and negatively on Egypt’s real estate market throughout 2016, resulting in mixed results and predictions across the sector. The situation was felt across all sectors, but it had a particular impact on the real estate market. On the one hand, investment in property continues to be a relatively stable prospect in uncertain times. On the other hand, the depreciation of the Egyptian pound resulted in increased construction costs for imported materials and corresponding delays, diminished the amount of disposable income for the population and made profit generation a challenge for the retail segment. Yet despite some economic setbacks and continued legislative hurdles, there is reason for optimism in the country’s real estate sector. While growth rates may have slowed for the moment, and foreign currency shortages have delayed some projects, demand remains strong and housing needs across the income spectrum must be met. This chapter contains interviews with Ayman Ismail, Chairman, New Administrative Capital; and Ahmed El Hitamy, CEO, Madinet Nasr Housing and Development.