Roundtable Discussions

Infrastructure and Economic Growth in Egypt

Date : 10/15/2009

Speakers : Norman Loayza, the World Bank

Over the past five decades, Egypt has experienced remarkable progress in the provision of infrastructure in all areas, including transportation, telecommunications, power generation, and water and sanitation. In the last fifteen years, however, a worrisome trend has emerged: infrastructure investment has suffered a substantial decline. This WB study attempts to analyze the situation, trend and effects of infrastructure in Egypt by placing the Egyptian experience in an international context. The study points out that a developing country like Egypt cannot afford a decline in infrastructure investment, especially that the country has much room to improve before attaining its goals of future economic growth. Taking into account that increasing investment is costly to the government, the report suggests rationalizing public expenditures to release resources for use in enhancing infrastructure services. It also stresses the importance of considering the experience of other countries where stronger participation of the private sector in the provision of infrastructure has led to significant productivity gains.