A hub between the Arab world, Africa, Asia and Europe, Egypt has all the cards in hand to become one of the world's economic champions. With its diversified economy and dynamic demography, the country can and should rely on its dynamism, which is built on the back of enthusiasm and creativity.
The Egyptian civilization occupies a special place in the history of humanity. Not only are we still fascinated by its pyramids and millennium temples, but contemporary Egypt remains a landmark. From the al-Azhar university (pillar of theological Muslim erudition) and its leading role in the region in the 1970s in opening up the economy to private investment to the Tahir square events, its daily headlines often mingled with those of the rest of the world.
Whoever has had the opportunity to walk through the streets of Cairo can testify to the unique energy that one feels in this city, with a daily energy and creativity which can be explained by the youthful dynamism of the local demography. The median age of the millions of Egyptians is 24!
Despite political and safety tensions in the past years, which strongly impacted foreign investments, especially growth, in 2014 and 2013, Egypt has a diversified economy with a well-developed agricultural sector (14 percent of GDP), mining exploitations (40 percent of GDP) and services (46 percent).
If the country's agricultural sector still relies on Nile Valley fertility as during the pharaoh's time, the health of the tourism sector is driven by Egypt's incredible touristic potential, a potential only marginally exploited for now due to the security situation, but which should explode in the coming years.
With one of the most educated middle-class populations in the Arab world, Egypt does not only rely on its touristic advantages to ensure its economic take-off. Its strategic position as a true hub between Africa, Asia and the Middle East gives it a central role to play.
Egypt's geographic characteristics, especially its large ports opening on the Mediterranean Sea (Alexandria, Port Said) and the Red Sea (Suez, Sharm El-Sheikh), are incredible economic assets fortified by the major economic and geopolitical role of the Suez Canal (to which the Egyptian government would like to add a twin canal to handle growing traffic).
In Sharm el-Sheikh, where the Egypt Economic Development Conference that we are co-organizing is underway, I am impressed by the interest of world economic and political leaders, coming from all over the globe to consider Egypt's potential and economic perspectives. It is the first time I've witnessed such a strong mobilization and enthusiasm in my 25 years of experience advising countries and companies and organizing international conferences.
The Egyptians definitely love their country, and many are those, friends and partners, echoing that sentiment today. What remains to be seen for global investors and the eyes of the world, however, will be the real commitments on the numerous investment projects currently being presented at the conference.