CAIRO: Minister of Investment Mahmoud Mohieddin, heading an Egyptian delegation consisting of Dr. Ziad Bahaa El-Din, chairman of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) and the vice chairman of GAFI, was in La Baule, France, yesterday for the annual three-day International Investment Conference, where he delivered a speech on reforms undertaken by the government, the growth of the Egyptian economy and increase in foreign direct investments (FDI).
The conference, which this year is entitled, “Europe: Communication with the outside world, is considered one of the major conferences for investment promotion in the Euro-Middle East region, attracting a number of EU and Mediterranean ministers, chairmen from global companies and investors from around the world. The conference will address the various means to attract further investments, foreign investors needs and compare investment policies to growth rates.
Egypt, the guest of honor at this year’s event, was recognized for its policy reforms that were said to have enhanced the economic performance of the country.
The conference will also tackle investment promotion in the Mediterranean region and methods to launch greater investments and developments in the region, as well as the enhancement of infrastructure.
Also on the agenda will be a review of investment opportunities and growing sectors in the region, in addition to ways to mobilize society s role in order to contribute to economic growth.
The minister has been busy promoting investments. Yesterday, a three day closed-door World Bank workshop on public-private partnerships (PPPs) wrapped up, at which the minister spoke on developing sustainable PPPs and finance projects.
The workshop, a crash course on Egypt, addressed a broad range of institutional, economic and regulatory requirements of successful and sustainable PPPs in infrastructure sectors, with a special focus on the economic, financial and contractual issues governments face when implementing PPPs.
According to Mohieddin, who spoke at a workshop on Activating public-private partnership in public services and infrastructure projects, partnership with the private sector in infrastructure projects is not limited to financing. At the workshop, the minister said that the government s role will evolve to include further participation in terms of supervision and regulation.
Highlighting the current coordination between the Ministries of Investment and Finance to set up a centralized institutional framework to organize local and international market private sector involvement in these projects, the minister stated that specific workshops will be organized in cooperation with relevant ministries in the future, in addition to the launch of a workshop for financial officials to introduce new ways to finance projects.
According to the Ministry of Investment, Egypt has reviewed the successful experiences of PPPs in the United Kingdom and South Africa, among other countries, where private investments in infrastructure projects had been supported by regulatory control as examples from which to learn and possibly adopt on a local level.
This is the second workshop to be organized with the World Bank, according to Mohieddin.
The first one, attended by Prime Minister Ahmad Nazif, was organized in order to exchange views on the best approaches for PPPs, with how the government can enhance public awareness of the benefits of private involvement in such projects taking center stage.
Other topics also under discussion at the previous workshop included talks on the overall strategy of supporting and promoting private investments in infrastructure projects, as well as the reform of legislation that governs private investments and institutional reform.
Representatives of ministries concerned with infrastructure and public services in Egypt attended this year’s workshop from the Cairo and Alexandria governorates.