Expert: Egyptian economy is stagnant, not bad

The secretary general of the Arab Investors Union has voiced optimism about the Egyptian economy in spite of its severe liquidity crisis.

Gamal Eddin al-Bayoumi told the Chinese news agency Xinhua that Egypt’s economic and political situation is stagnant, not bad. Bayoumi predicted conditions will improve after the country builds its political institutions.

Egypt suffers from a great deal of bureaucracy on the economic level, he said. But he assured that the country is not suffering from a structural crisis, but rather a liquidity problem resulting from shortcomings in some of its income sources, especially tourism and exports, and falling production due to protests and sit-ins.

Bayoumi said he hopes Egypt’s power transfer will proceed smoothly. He said the country is slowly returning to the right course after the 25 January uprising, which was leaderless and gave some groups a chance to individually benefit from it.

The problem with Egypt’s economy is that most imports are indispensable, Bayoumi said, disputing how he feels they are depicted by the media. Most imports are machinery and foodstuffs, he noted.

While it is a positive sign that Egypt’s economy has not come to a halt in spite of the recent developments in the country, Bayoumi said Egypt is still unable to achieve the growth rates necessary to help the poor.

The security vacuum brings instability to financial activities and makes businessmen wary of the safety of their investments, Bayoumi said. He also questioned why the security services have failed to fully resume their duties one year after the revolution began.

The security issue must be resolved and the law must be enforced regardless of the tensions between civilians and police services, Bayoumi said.

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