Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi opened on Friday 13/3/2015 the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC) in the Red Sea tourist resort of Sharm el Sheikh.
“I welcome all development partners of our new Egypt who believe in the importance of working together for the prosperity and progress of mankind. Those who came here today to have a role in providing stability and prosperity to nation aspiring for development ,” Sisi said at the opening session of the conference.
“You are all welcome at Egypt Economic Development Conference, Egypt the Future” he added.
President Sisi paid tribute to late Saudi king Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz, noting that it had been his call to organize this conference.
Such stance is also normal of Saudi Arabia under the rule of King Salman bin Abdel Aziz, Sisi said, adding that honorable stances are characteristic of the founding king and have been adopted by all his successors.
Sisi also greatly appreciated efforts exerted by the UAE under Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nuhayyan.
He was pleased to have UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashed al Maktoum among the attendees today with the aim to contribute to Egypt’s renaissance and prosperity.
The Egyptian people have sensed the honest and serious commitment of the UAE to boosting Egypt’s economy, Sisi said.
Sisi expressed thanks for Kuwait’s unwavering support of Egypt, saying the presence of the Kuwaiti emir in this gathering today mirrors his great belief in the important value of Arab solidarity.
He also thanked the Jordanian and Bahraini monarchs for their continued support of Egypt, saying their support reflects deeply-rooted relations binding Egypt with their countries.
“All the thanks for the Arab leaders who honored us today by their participation or by sending representatives,” he said.
Sisi also lauded the high-level participation of foreign states and international organizations in this conference.
“Turning this participation to real investments that benefit all the sides would not only contribute to achieving economic growth and progress but will also contribute to realizing social justice that will minimize gaps between the different brackets of the society and provide more jobs to Egyptian youths,” Sisi said.
“The Egyptian people, who make up one quarter of the Middle East population, is considered a main pillar for the stability of the entire region. We should make the best use of the Egyptians’ intellectual and creative powers for the sake of the progress and stability of the Arab world.”
This is the comprehensive development Egypt aspires for. We are taking steady and confident steps on all tracks to achieve just and balanced growth that would help build a modern state that takes its place in the world not only because of the greatness of its history but also because of its great presence.
With hope of a promising future to its sons, this modern state would set an example in the Arab and Islamic civilization for a state that discards violence, extremism and terrorism, a state that enhances regional security and stability and respects its neighbors, a state that defends and never attacks, a state that respects the other and believes that difference is a tool for enriching human civilization.
The Egyptian people have always been an effective player in protecting their country and the Muslim and Arab nations, Sisi said.
Egypt has always been and will always be the first line of defense in the region, he told the conference.
The Egyptian people are giving a good example of how to bear responsibility through their commitment to the Egyptian identity and understanding of decisions made to improve the economic landscape, said Sisi.
He saluted his people, who are looking forward to boosting their partnership with friendly states.
The Egyptian people are eyeing positive steps at the economic and social levels, Sisi said, adding they want to see a change in economic management and to make optimal use of resources.
Sisi said Egyptians are seeking societal participation and upgraded public services.
A just distribution of the outcome of development is what the Egyptian people are after, the president added.
Those are legitimate dreams that the government will act to turn into reality through hard work and in cooperation with Arab and international partners, Sisi said.
Egypt adopts a clear vision and free approach to support its economy, Sisi told the gathering, stressing the role of the private sector in contributing to a stable economic environment.
He touched upon a long-term strategy to achieve sustainable development until 2030.
This strategy is meant to build an advanced and democratic society, whose cornerstone is production and openness to the world, Sisi said.
The private sector and civil society have contributed to outlining this strategy, the president said, noting that this guarantees all economic policies and programs will be implemented.
Expounding the main pivots the State relies on to achieve development, Sisi said first, we work for restoring the economic stability of the State through drafting the policies that guarantee restoring our financial balance by cutting down budget deficit and achieving tax justice. In line with this, we adopt a monetary policy that seeks to preserve the stability of prices, increase growth rates and reduce inflation rates.
We really believe that achieving the stability of our economy is a main condition for maintaining the confidence of the business sector and ensuring the recovery of our economy. We are fully aware that the reform process should hit its targets so that growth rates would increase. We have already seen a remarkable improvement in the first quarter of the current fiscal year and this shows that Egypt is on the right track.
The second pivot, Sisi said, revolves around improving the investment atmosphere and luring new investments. This comes by carrying out a package of important legislative and institutional reforms, adopting clear-cut policies that guarantee equality of chances within the framework of transparency and rule of law. In this regard, we drafted the unified investment law, activated the one-stop-shop policy and developed investment services mechanism to remove hurdles facing investors and create an atmosphere that would attract more Arab and foreign investments.
Sisi renewed Egypt’s commitment to pay all dues of foreign companies, saying we have never failed in meeting our financial obligations or our international pledges.
We also work on amending competitiveness and monopoly laws to create a competitive market that would take the growth rate to more than 6 percent and within the coming five years and lower unemployment to 10 percent.
The third pivot includes carrying out national projects and ambitious plans in all sectors to create development and provide jobs and on the other side create promising opportunities to investors. In this respect, the Egyptian government approved a clear-cut applicable strategy to increase power production not only to cover local consumption but also to meet growing demands of the investment sector for energy. This is a long-term strategy that is not about meeting our needs at the current stage only but also our future needs. It will help create a stable and sustainable climate for investments, he added.
President Sisi referred to the new demarcation of governorates, saying such a step created hinterland to existing governorates that would absorb population growth and achieve comprehensive agricultural, industrial and urban development. The new borders are also extended to the Red Sea coast in a way that will help create outlets and harbors for exports.
He added that the private sector is taking part in expanding the runway of Suez Canal and developing the Canal area. This giant project, in reference to the Suez Canal project, will enhance Egypt’s strategic location as a hub among Europe, Asia and Africa.
Sisi also referred to other national projects involving reclaiming four million feddans, modernizing the national road network, setting up new airports, developing existing harbors and airports, setting up complexes for mining industries and new and renewable energy. All these projects provide a good chance for the participation of the private sector in a way that made us take some steps to develop their partnership with the public sector in order to fully protect the rights of the investor but at the same time preserve the rights of workers.
Achieving sustainable development requires full commitment by the government to applying all policies and programs that would increase investments and help open new markets but we should not forget, while working to achieve these goals, the social dimension as we truly believe that our new Egypt needs a real boom in human development, he said. That’s why we are working for achieving social justice, improving social care systems, developing subsidy mechanism and improving pensions and salaries, he added.
At the end, President Sisi expressed appreciation for all brothers who helped organize this big event with the Egyptian team, especially Saudi Finance Minster Ibrahim Assaf and UAE Minister of State Sultan Gaber. He also paid tribute to Sharm el Sheikh investors and South Sinai residents.
“I am confident that your efforts and participation will make this day a landmark in the march of new Egypt towards a better future.”