Sharm El-Sheikh - Arab Republic of Egypt: The Arab Republic of Egypt reviewed its partnership opportunities with the private sector during a presentation by the Egyptian Minister of Public Enterprise Sector, Hisham Tawfiq, on "Mapping Investments in Egypt, Priorities and Opportunities The Authority General Investment and Free Zones.”
The discussion session was attended by: Mahmoud Abdel Rahim, Representative of the General Investment Authority, Dr. Nevin El-Tahri, Member of the Board of Directors of the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, Sylvain Marlin, Deputy Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program in Egypt, and Dr. Ahmed Heikal , Founder and President of Qalaa Holdings.
Hisham Tawfiq, Minister of Public Enterprise Sector, said "The Ministry of Public Enterprise Sector now oversees seven holding companies with 63 subsidiaries; down from 119 entities with 18 reductions, in addition to 300 joint companies. Subsidiaries contribute a minority of up to 50% and operate in 34 economic sectors. Today, the public sector has access to be involved in most of these sectors.”
The ministry has 4 projects in the field of vehicle transportation, including electric cars. It also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a Chinese company, after it agreed to the ministry’s requirements for an acceptable budget to market 25,000 cars of one model in the Egyptian market.
Tawfiq revealed that the ministry shut down a factory in Alexandria due to pollution and the use of palm fronds as an input for production. On the other hand, two projects in the petrochemical sector have been submitted for collaboration. He explained that the government has begun to consider presenting a group of successful hotels, including Cataract and Marriott, with offering rates ranging from 20 to 30 percent, and there is another potential for a hotel created by Khedive Ismail overlooking the Azbakeya park. A loan of 50% of the project's cost has been provided, and the Ministry is looking for a partner with a 40 to 50% stake.
Tawfiq stated, "In mid-2020, the law was revised, and this helped modify the boards of directors, half of which were elected workers." This is a huge impediment to the development of enterprises since the interests of workers collide with the interests of the owners, and there is only one representation for workers, while the bulk of the board of directors are from outside the companies. He noted that around 60% of the companies saw a change in their board of directors with complete guarantee of the efficiency of the members, and 90% of the members of the boards of directors were renewed. The cotton sector receives 1.2 billion US dollars from the ministry.
Mahmoud Abdel Rahim, representative of the Egyptian General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, said that the authority worked on studying and analyzing the economic situation and setting economic criteria such as the sectors' contribution to employment and exports and its ability to attract foreign investments. “We worked on identifying the targeted companies, in addition to a set of important tools and decisions, such as establishing an investment group for investment for permanent coordination between various parties,” he said. He added that the authority issued the third generation of the investment map with all the details that investors are interested in. The map includes 2723 investment opportunities ready for investment. He highlighted the investment incentives, 50% of which were directed to the regions to ensure the spread of development throughout Egypt.
For his part, Sylvain Marlin, Deputy Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Egypt, said, "The investment platform prepared by the program consists of two parts: one of them is the criteria, and the other is a map of investment opportunities and smart research in it." He added that the criteria for the impact of sustainable development were established according to specific points consistent with the criteria for the impact of sustainable development.
Neveen El Tahri, a member of the Board of Directors of TESF, said that fund aims to utilize many untapped government assets and operates according to modern and innovative systems and mechanisms and is managed as if it were a private sector. She also stressed that the sovereign fund can overcome any common problems with investors because it is a sovereign fund.
On the objectives of maximizing profits in the private sector, Ahmed Heikal, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Qalaa Holding Company, said, "The Company is very optimistic. Each of its 45 subsidiaries is constantly increasing its investments, and this is evident from the company's budget. The government's encouraging policies for the private sector are sufficient and reliable, and form great opportunities. I expect the policies to encourage the private sector to continue and not be interrupted once the situation improves, because the continuation stems from real confidence among decision makers, ministers and senior leaders. I stress that it is necessary to enhance the utilization of state assets, and this not only needs money, but also regulation.”