On July 5, 2023, at the initiative of businessman Mohamed Kassem, coordinator of ECFA’s Economic Committee, and Chairman of the Egyptian Exporters Association, the Committee held a meeting to discuss the broad outline of its work plan during the remainder of the year 2023, with the participation of Dr. Ahmed Darwish, the former Minister of Administrative Development, the former Chairman of the General Authority of the Suez Canal Economic Zone, Ambassador Dr. Ezzat Saad, ECFA Director, and Ambassador Dr. Youssef. E-Sharqawy, Dr. Diaa Helmy, and Dr. Mohamed Hassouna.
The Committee Coordinator indicated that the current global economic system suffers from great challenges and many risks, as a result of the severe geopolitical tensions among the major international powers. The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed a major crisis in global supply chains, which has affected the economies of developed and developing countries alike, with the resulting focus on the idea of “nearshoring” and “friendly shoring,” instead of “offshoring.” This is while the climate and energy crises, which are closely associated, are escalating, especially since the emissions causing the climate crisis result from the use of fossil fuels to generate energy. This is at a time when some countries, especially developed countries, have resorted to restarting nuclear reactors to generate energy, after the repercussions due to the Ukrainian crisis in this field.
The participants also appreciated the recent modernization steps, such as changing the Ministry of Manpower to the Ministry of Labor, and starting to formulate the National Employment Strategy, which was announced by the Minister of Labor in March 2023, as well as the ongoing parliamentary amendment to the Labor Law, which is one of the important laws that witnessed extensive discussions over the recent period.
In this context, the participants agreed that the Committee’s work plan should include the following: the economic aspect of Egypt-Türkiye relations and means to enhance relevant mutual investments, especially in light of the recent rapprochement between the two countries, which culminated in the announcement of the exchange of ambassadors between them on July 4, 2023. As well as obstacles to economic interaction between Egypt and other countries at the economic level, and consultation on available ways to overcome them. In addition, means to support the manufacturing of Egyptian fruits in particular, such as oranges and mangoes, and prepare them for exportation, instead of exporting them raw, and consider how to promote this, especially since the returns on manufactured products are much higher than the returns on raw materials. There is also the need to communicate and coordinate with other parties concerned with economic and commercial issues, in addition to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, such as the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Federation of Egyptian Industries, and the Egyptian Exporters Association.