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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9298
JPY
USD
120.21
GBP
USD
0.6773
CAD
USD
1.2675
INR
USD
62.497

Rates may not be current.