Egypt’s Economic Pain Is All In A Good Cause – Analysis

Before the 2011 revolution that deposed Hosni Mubarak, Egypt had undergone a few reform periods between 1991 and 2007 in an effort to reduce external debt and expand the role of the private sector.

 

As a result of those reforms, Egypt was able to relax some price controls, tackle double-digit inflation, reduce subsidies and cut taxes.

 

The government also liberalized trade and reduced barriers to investment, resulting in a reduced public sector footprint in the heavy industries. This ultimately opened doors to private-sector investments in critical economic sectors such manufacturing and agriculture, with the exception of sugar and cotton.

 

This meant Egypt was already poised to benefit from sustained annual GDP growth if the government continued to pursue appropriate economic reforms. These reforms, initiated at the behest of the 1991 Paris Club debt settlement negotiations, went a long way to achieving Egypt’s economic goals as it entered the 21st century.

 

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The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
The Johns Hopkins University

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