Constitution referendum results boost investor confidence in Egypt: Cabinet’s economic team

Constitution referendum results boost investor confidence in Egypt: Cabinet’s economic team

Polling station officials count ballots in the Egyptian capital Cairo on January 15, 2014 at the end of the second day of voting in a referendum on a new constitution. Voting proceeded smoothly in a referendum on a new Egyptian constitution after clashes killed nine people on day one, with turnout seen as key to a likely presidential bid by the army chief.  (AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI)

Polling station officials count ballots in the Egyptian capital Cairo on January 15, 2014 at the end of the second day of voting in a referendum on a new constitution.
(AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI)

The passing of the new constitution has boosted the confidence of investors and international development partners in the economy, the cabinet said in a statement following their weekly meeting on Monday.

The Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC) announced on Saturday that 98.1% of voters, or 19,985,389 citizens, voted to approve the draft of the constitution.

The statement added that investors believe that the Egyptian economy is able to grow rapidly in the coming years.

The meeting was headed by interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi and attended by the deputy prime minister and the Minister of International Cooperation, the governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), and the ministers of Finance, Industry and Foreign Trade, Planning, Petroleum, Housing, and Supply and Internal Trade.

Minister of Planning Ashraf El-Araby announced on Saturday that the government is currently studying an investment plan aimed at achieving an average growth rate between 4 and 4.5% during the 2014/2015 fiscal year. He added that he is optimistic following the third and fourth quarters of the current fiscal year.

During the meeting, the team discussed the latest economic developments and performance indicators.

The team also reviewed some of the passed laws relating to the taxing and rental value of agriculture lands, pointing out that no changes were applied to the taxes.

The economic team stated that a reevaluation for the rental value is required, adding that amendments in the value will not happen until a communal dialogue that involves all affected parties is held.

The team also discussed the amendments made to a number of laws, such as laws regarding competition regulation and the prohibition of monopolistic practices as well as laws allowing for the formation of a public authority for the “Golden Triangle” mineral wealth project.

The government announced on Sunday that the project, which connects the industrial centres of Qena, Safaga and Al-Qaseer, will be given to an unnamed “international house of expertise” in March. The consultancy firm is due to assume responsibility for the preparation of a comprehensive plan for the project’s development. The plan will mainly concern mineral extraction, in addition to manufacturing, trade, mining, infrastructure, ports, tourism and urban development.

These laws will be sent to the Egyptian Legislative Committee for revision, to be later submitted to the cabinet for approval.

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