News / Economy

High-powered Egypt Economic Team Heartens Investors

FILE - Traders work near the exchange bell at Egypt's Stock Exchange in Cairo, July 3, 2013.
FILE - Traders work near the exchange bell at Egypt's Stock Exchange in Cairo, July 3, 2013.
Reuters
— Egypt's new military-backed administration has pleased investors by appointing experienced economic policy makers to a cabinet whose cohesion will be sorely tested in the coming months.
 
Over the past few days, trained economists and technocrats have been given key ministerial posts in the government that is replacing the administration of president Mohamed Morsi, deposed nearly two weeks ago in a move that polarized Egyptian society.
 
Taken together, they appear to form the country's most high-powered economic team since its February 2011 revolution ushered in a series of unstable cabinets which were chosen as much for ideology and political expediency as for expertise.
 
The new cabinet's credentials will not alone ensure that Egypt can overcome problems such as crumbling state finances, a big trade deficit and rising inflation - but the team's very existence may go some way to restoring business confidence.
 
“I think they are smart enough to deal with the new outcomes on the ground,” Mohamed Kotub, director of asset management at Naeem Financial Investments in Cairo, said of the new ministers.
 
He predicted the cabinet would focus on restoring public security, boosting tourism and luring foreign investment back to Egypt - key demands of the business community which many felt were ignored by Morsi's government.
 
The range of views it contains is aimed at allaying anger over the overthrow of the democratically elected Morsi, but could store up trouble as it considers how to tackle crippling subsidies and currency woes.
 
Technocrats
 
Morsi's cabinet was short of relevant experience. Two of his finance ministers, for example, had academic backgrounds studying Islamic economics - of limited immediate use in an economy where Islamic banking plays only a tiny role, and which is facing a balance of payments crisis.
 
Morsi's last finance minister, Fayyad Abdel Moneim, made his academic name researching subjects including “economic functionaries in the Islamic state at the time of the Prophet and the Righteous Caliphs”.
 
Also, post-revolution governments in Egypt had trouble attracting experienced technocrats because they feared being tainted by an unpopular ruling military council or by the Islamist ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
The new cabinet appears to have overcome this, including ministers who can speak the language of investors, foreign and local. Some also have administrative experience needed to push economic policies through a sluggish state bureaucracy.
 
New Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi, who is to steer Egypt until parliamentary elections planned in about six months, ran Egypt's Export Development Bank for 12 years and went on to work at regional economic agencies in the Middle East.
 
Ahmed Galal, managing director of the Cairo-based Economic Research Forum since 2007 and for 18 years a researcher at the World Bank, was appointed finance minister on Sunday.
 
Ziad Bahaa El-Din, who is a member of the leftist Egyptian Social Democratic Party, will be deputy prime minister; he has a doctorate in banking law from the London School of Economics and ran Egypt's investment authority between 2004 and 2007.
 
Egypt's interim authorities have not been able to ignore ideology and horse-trading in choosing their economic team. In an effort to reduce political tensions, they have had to take care to appear inclusive of a range of opinion.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.