Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) topped $8.1bn in 2016, which is the highest since 2008, according to global publishing, research, and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG), at an OBG anniversary roundtable held Tuesday in Cairo.
OBG said that annual Egypt GDP growth had risen steadily since 2011 to reach 4.4% in 2015, before slipping just slightly to 4.3% in 2016, according to the World Bank.
The roundtable discussed several economic issues such as the Egyptian Exchange’s prospects for 2018 in terms of new IPOs, after a record-breaking 2016 and main index expansion last year of 17%.
Oliver Cornock, editor-in-chief at OBG, said that Egypt’s strong fundamentals, combined with ambitious reforms, have helped it to rally after a difficult few years.
“These have been turbulent times for Egypt. However, our data shows that its economic recovery is gaining ground, with investor interest on the rise, and inflation and budget deficit on the decline,” Cornock noted. “The sentiments expressed by our speakers today reaffirms that while challenges remain, growth is resuming across key sectors of the economy.”
Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil said that the government has given utmost importance to infrastructure projects as an effective hub for creating jobs and providing suitable living conditions for the Egyptian people and meeting the needs of the growing national energy industry.
Kabil pointed out that upgrading capabilities of the human factor comes at the top of the government’s interest by investing in education and health, encouraging young people and entrepreneurs to start their own projects, and developing technical education and vocational training as one of the main axes of the government’s strategy to reduce youth unemployment rates and apply the highest standards of efficiency for Egyptian workers.
The minister noted that the average annual GDP growth was about 4.2% and the trade balance deficit decreased by 25% in 2017.