AfDB Highlights Egypt’s Good Economic Performance in Country’s 2010 Competitiveness Report
The African Development Bank launches The Arab Republic of Egypt: Competitiveness Report update 2010 and share the fruits of analytical work and discussions with the Bank’s Egyptian partners over the last year. While the social and political changes that have swept across Egypt, and North Africa at large, have taken center-stage in the first months of 2011, the underlying economic dimensions of these changes are critically important. And the topic of this report is, in several ways, at the core of the economic challenges facing Egypt today.
Competitiveness is inextricably linked to a country's standard of living and, in a dynamic sense, a determining element in any society’s ability to improve living conditions for its people and meet the aspiration of its youth. Cognizant of its importance, in the past Egypt has focused on competitiveness and private sector development through reforms to improve its business climate and further its economy’s competitive edge. These reforms have contributed to the country’s improved performance in recent years, with annual average GDP growth rising from below 4 percent in 2003-2006 to above 7 percent in 2007-2009. The long-term objective of the Egyptian government is to maintain this higher level of economic growth, with the private sector as the prime driver of the economy.
Particularly relevant for Egypt’s contemporary situation, the report suggests tangible measures that could be undertaken to improve the country’s competitiveness in the world economy. Beyond the well-known but critical maintenance of macroeconomic stability, including a prudent public debt policy, the report discusses the importance of reducing barriers to external trade, strengthening Egypt’s infrastructure, and the need to adapt education with a view to building a strong Egyptian labor force.