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CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS

A meeting of individuals or representatives of various bodies for the purpose of discussing and/or acting on topics of common interest.

The Search for Sustainable Jobs for Egypt’s Youth: Qalyoubia and Menoufia Governorates

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Dec 2016

 

In the context of the ILO’s framework project “Decent Jobs for Egypt’s Young People – Tackling the Challenge Together in Qalyoubia and Menoufia” two   studies aiming to identify the problems facing youth employment with a view to finding appropriate solutions will be presented. In addition, they aim to identify investment opportunities available to young people in both governorates. Subsequent studies of other governorates in Egypt will be conducted as part of the ECES-ILO collaboration.

 

 

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Announcing Results of the 2016-2017 Global Competitiveness Report in Egypt and Launching the Sectoral Competitiveness Observatory

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Oct 2016

 

In the context of announcing the results of the WEF Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) 20162017 in Egypt, this conference analyzed the results of the GCR report and its implications for the Egyptian economy from the perspective of economic analysts, the government and the business community.

In addition, ECES launched its Sectoral Competitiveness Observatory (SCO), which aims to enhance the competitiveness of specific productive and service sectors through benchmarking Egypt against comparator countries. It also aims to contribute to guiding economic policies that impact these sectors positively. This new activity starts with the ready-made garments and food processing industries. Other sectors will follow. 

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Contribution of Services in Value Chains and Product Cost: With a Focus on Ready-Made Garments, Engineering and Food Industries, and Agri Crops

Speaker(s): Abdel Hamid Mamdouh and Dr. Abla Abdel Latif

Apr 2016

Services plays a highly strategic role in providing inputs to the production of all products, be they goods or services. The backward and forward linkages with other sectors of the economy make the services sector the real "glue" for value chains, be they global or domestic.

This reality is not only true for advanced industries such as ICT equipment or sophisticated cars, but it also holds for the most basic of production operations such as producing a loaf of bread. A recent case-study by the Fung Global Institute in Hong Kong on the value-chain for the production and consumption of bread revealed that services account for 72 percent of the final cost of a loaf of bread.

Many services enter the value chain in a variety of ways. Services are invisible and in many instances customized or bundled with other products (goods or other services) and, therefore, often difficult to cost and easy to overlook in terms of their contribution to competitiveness. At the same time, services are often highly regulated. Policies can impact costs and supply chain configurations in ways that are sometimes not fully appreciated by policy makers and regulators, as well as businesses. They can add avoidable costs if policies are poorly designed or administered.

The purpose of this exercise, as laid out in this note, is to better understand the complex, multifaceted and often overlooked role of services in production, distinction and consumption in order to identify additional sources of efficiency and competitiveness, and consequently, arrive at proposed policy and regulatory reforms.

In context of the above, three roundtables were held that respectively addressed the ready-made garments industry, engineering industries, and food industries and agricultural crops. Each roundtable analysed the results of a survey conducted by ECES to determine the services related to the product’s value chain and the cost thereof. The aim is to reduce the cost of the product through improved economic efficiency of these services and to identify policies and measures that need improvement to achieve this objective.

 

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Solid Waste: A Jewel in the Rough

Speaker(s): See the agenda

Apr 2016

Waste Management is one of the key problems in Egypt due to the ever-expanding volume and complexity of municipal and agriculture waste. Such waste can be turned into organic fertilizers, energy and refuse-derived fuel (RDF). However, such resources remain untapped, not to mention the wrong misconceptions about the sector as a whole.

The conference provided a forum for discussion of scientific information and work on the current situation of waste management among professionals, researchers, investors, and government officials. In particular, it discussed the need to arrive at suitable strategies to waste management and raises awareness about the importance of linking recycled solid waste products to mega projects such as the reclamation of 1.5 million feddans of desert land, cement industry and energy production, in a way that achieves improved allocation of resources, economic efficiency and better quality of life. 

 

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Education Reform in Egypt: The Road That Must Be Traveled

Speaker(s): See the Program

Jan 2016

The Egyptian Center for Economic Studies, the Specialized Presidential Council for Education and Scientific Research and Al Alfi Foundation held a conference on January 16th to contribute together with some of the foremost Egyptian education thought leaders to:

i) Reaching a common understanding of the most critical elements of Egypt’s education reform agenda.

ii) Exploring the new frontier of thinking behind the global education agenda

Following opening remarks, Session I discussed the current status of education in Egypt. In Session II, Professor Pasi Sahlberg, Harvard University Graduate Studies and Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge, shed light on the main elements of the global education reform agenda. Session III focused on the Egyptian education reform agenda. Session IV highlighted the initiatives of the Specialized Presidential Council for Education and Scientific Research. Session V focused on non-governmental initiatives and success stories. The final session discussed the future of education reform in Egypt and key elements thereof, with a view to setting reform priorities.

 

Related reading:

http://www.sciencealert.com/no-more-physics-and-maths-finland-to-stop-teaching-individual-subjects

  

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/DigitalEducation/2015/04/blended_learning_research_the.html

 

 

 

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The Impact of Exchange Rate Depreciation on Egypt’s Trade Balance

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Dec 2015

Egypt’s international reserves dropped to critical levels recently and the Egyptian pound is under mounting pressure. Several factors are responsible, including decreased exports over the past two years by 19 percent; a decline in the ratio of merchandise exports to imports from 49 percent in 2010 to 36 percent in 2015; and a deteriorating trade deficit from US$25 billion to US$39 billion over the same period. This was compounded by a decrease in tourism receipts; a slowdown in the world economic activity; a serious decline in official transfers in 2014/2015, culminating in a considerable increase in the current account deficit from US$3 billion in 2013/2014 to US$ 12 billion in 2014/2015. Over and above, foreign capital flows have been highly volatile.

 Against this backrop, this workshop addressed the following questions:

. What is the nature and size of the exchange rate problem?

. What is the impact of exchange rate depreciation on Egypt’s trade balance?

. What are the policy options to address the trade balance deficit and augment foreign currency receipts?

 

Workshop Chair: Omar Mohanna, ECES, Chairman

Presentation: Omneia Helmy, ECES

Discussion Leader: Ahmed Galal, ERF Managing Director

 

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Making the Case for Formalization in Egypt

Speaker(s): Speaker: Hernando de Soto, President, ILD, Peru; Discussant: Heba Handoussa, Founder, ENID, Egypt; Moderator: Sherif El-Diwany, Executive Director, ECES, Egypt.

May 2014

The magnitude of informal economic activities in Egypt in 2013 was equivalent to approximately 40% of GDP generated by 2.7 million enterprises, employing an estimated 5 million workers or 66% of all private non-agriculture employment. The real estate property held by 92% of Egyptians is unregistered and is valued at an estimated LE 1 trillion in 2014, 70% of which is held by the lower income people. Integration of this vast extra-legal sector could generate additional economic growth estimated at 2% annually and would correct many of the institutional and structural problems in the economy. The economy would modernize, grow faster, workers will gain social security benefits, new tax revenues would be generated and poverty would be reduced. Of all the reform efforts being considered today by the government, few if none would achieve such economic progress and social justice at the same time.

However many argue that left alone, the informal economy has repeatedly acted as an economic safety net to the poor during economic downturn in Egypt and other countries. Those opposed to formalization argue that:

i) there are a limited number of successful formalization programs because most governments view formalization as a measure of raising additional revenue for the state and have no institutional capacity for their implementation;

ii) providing the poor with marketable property rights exposes them to market risks, which they are poorly equipped to manage;

iii) formalization may lead to an increase in property prices which puts them beyond the reach of the poor and which may also ‘compel’ poor property owners to sell their properties.

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Economic Reforms during Democratic Transformation: Lessons from the Visegrad Group

Speaker(s): Multiple speakers

Jun 2013

The aim of this conference was to draw on the experience and the success stories of the Visegrad Group (V4), comprising the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The V4 has formed an alliance after the political changes that took place in the 1990s. Now, all four nations are high-income countries and enjoy steady economic growth. If counted as a single nation state, the V4 is the seventh largest economy in Europe and the 15th in the world.

The purpose of the conference was to transfer knowledge related to selected economic transformation processes that is of interest for current Egyptian economic reform plans. In particular, the conference discussed the economic and political transformation in the 1990s, public-private cooperation in the experience of the V-4, EU integration as a catalyst for reform and the role of the energy sector in supporting the transformation process.

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Economic Reform and Social Justice in Egypt: Lessons from the German Experience

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Sep 2011

Despite high real economic growth rates over the past decade, Egypt was hard hit by the political and social upheaval that broke out on January 25, 2011. Social inequality and inadequate human development alongside lack of political reforms were among the key factors that led to the outbreak of the Revolution.Against this backdrop, this workshop drew on the German experience in economic liberalization, coupled with social justice, aiming to propose a forward-looking strategy for economic policies in Egypt. The purpose was to strike a balance between tackling short term challenges that have contributed to the social discontent and to drive economic reforms towards securing sustainable inclusive growth for the Egyptian economy over the medium term.

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Human Capital in Egypt: The Road to Sustainable Development

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

May 2011

Workshops were held on May 31, June 7, and June 14. Although Egypt has made significant progress towards reviving economic growth, unemployment remains persistently high and a significant increase in job opportunities is still needed to absorb the increasingly growing labor force.Egypt’s labor market is characterized by significant annual increases in the labor force, with the challenge to absorb around 700,000 new entrants to the labor market annually. Other labor-related problems include low female participation, excessive government employment, a high percentage of people in non-decent employment, low productivity and wages, and high unemployment among youth and women. In addition, there is a significant mismatch between available skills and labor market requirements. Last but not least, weak social protection programs preclude the generation of enough decent work opportunities.

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Price Subsidies in Egypt: Alternatives for Reform

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Oct 2010

Subsidies are a major item in government expenditures in Egypt, accounting for 36 percent of total expenditures in 08/09. They aim at mitigating the cost of living on vulnerable groups, providing basic fuel and food products at prices that fall below the market price. However, persistent budget deficit (reaching 6.9 percent of GDP in 08/09) and limited capacity to mobilize additional resources to tackle other government spending priorities on education and health have brought to the fore a heated debate concerning subsidy reform in Egypt. Opponents have attacked the current system on two accounts: (i) the high fiscal cost and its implication on the budget and rising public debt, and (ii) failure to target vulnerable groups, wasting government resources in financing excessive consumption and profits. Advocates of maintaining the current subsidy system have emphasized concerns about the adverse effects of removing subsidies on inflation, growth and social equity besides the difficulty to target and administer cash transfers and/or rationing cards to the poor. The discussion engaged both sides in a lively debate.

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Privatization and the Role of the Private Sector in Egypt’s Economic Development

Speaker(s): Mutiple speakers

Aug 2010

In 1991, Egypt embarked on a massive privatization program to transfer the ownership of many public enterprises and assets to the private sector. Underlying this strategy were two major factors: (i) the state of many public enterprises which proved to be unproductive and inefficient, and (ii) resulting financial liability that further constrained government’s resources, contributing to a larger budget deficit that necessitated an increase in domestic borrowing and crowded out necessary resources for private activity. Indeed, private credit growth remains low and the share of private investment in total investment falls below that for many of Egypt’s comparators.

Against this background, the government has stepped up the plan to address shortcomings against the performance of ailing public enterprises and transform the economy into private-led growth. Since the launching of the privatization program, it has gone through several stages, ranging from high speed to a virtual halt in response to issues related to the political economy. The purpose of this workshop is to present the main results of a large-scale study conducted by ECES staff regarding the role of the private sector in Egypt’s economic development, the overarching philosophy of privatization, and the results of the privatization program thus far.

Having taken stock of the sales and mobilization of privatization proceeds, the study evaluates the effects on macroeconomic performance and firms’ performance. Finally, the study recognizes shortcomings in implementation that have slowed down progress and fueled public anger, in a few cases, diverting attention away from the overarching objectives of privatization. The study concludes that shortcomings in implementation should be properly addressed without compromising the privatization philosophy as a cornerstone towards maximizing the benefits of economic reforms and energizing the role of the private sector in economic activity.

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Food Security, Agriculture and Rural Development in Egypt

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Dec 2009

This conference was intended to investigate the current state of food security in Egypt and consider the impact of the global food price shock on Egypt as a net food importer in comparison to food exporters such as Ukraine. Policy responses to improve Egypt’s food security were proposed, including enhancing the economic efficiency of crop production, strengthening competitiveness of Egyptian vegetables and fruit exports and modernizing the irrigation system. Policies to promote farm and non-farm linkages and regionally integrating rural areas in the national development effort were discussed as key requisites to enhance Egypt’s agricultural and rural development.

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The African Economic Outlook 2008/09

Speaker(s): Peter Walkenhorst, AfDB; Jean-Philippe Stijns, OECD; Malak Reda, ECES

Jul 2009

The AEO is widely recognized as an authoritative report that provides comprehensive analyses of economic, social and political developments on the African continent. It is produced by the African Development Bank (AfDB), jointly with the OECD and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). The AEO is a comprehensive report that contains country notes analyzing the recent economic situation and the medium-term prospects for each country. A comparative synthesis of Africa’s economic and social prospects that places the evolution of African economies in the world economic context, as well as a statistical appendix are included in this report. Every year, country notes also focus on a special theme of importance to African economies. The 2008/2009 AEO special theme is innovations in information and communications technologies (ICTs). Since 2007/2008, ECES has been contributing to the report by preparing the Egypt country note.

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The 2009 World Development Report: Reshaping Economic Geography

Speaker(s): Uwe Deichmann, World Bank; Indermit Gill, World Bank; and Chorching Goh, World Bank

Jun 2009

Production concentrates in big cities, leading provinces and wealthy nations. For example, Cairo produces more than half of Egypt’s GDP, using just 0.5 percent of its area. The message of this report was that economic growth would be unbalanced. To try to spread it out is to discourage it—to fight prosperity, not poverty. But development can still be inclusive, even for people who start their lives distant from dense economic activity. For growth to be rapid and shared, governments must promote economic integration in the policy debates on urbanization, territorial development and regional integration. The report reframed these debates to include all the instruments of integration—spatially blind institutions, spatially connective infrastructure, and spatially targeted interventions. By calibrating the blend of these instruments, countries can reshape their economic geography. If they do this well, their growth will still be unbalanced, but their development will be inclusive.

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Towards More Efficient Services in Egypt

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Dec 2008

Developing an efficient and competitive services sector is an essential requirement for a strong economy. According to recent official figures, the services sector accounts for 60 percent of GDP in Egypt and more than half of total employment. It is also of strategic importance in terms of its backward and forward linkages with other sectors of the economy and as such its efficiency is a determinant of the overall competitiveness of the Egyptian economy. This conference was intended to investigate the current state of the services sector and consider possibilities for reform in light of domestic constraints and international commitments. In particular, it addressed the role of this sector in Egypt’s economy, the main challenges facing its further development and optimal strategies to address such challenges. The conference featured the presentation of several research papers prepared by prominent experts, followed by comments from distinguished panelists.

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What Drives Prices in Egypt?

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Nov 2007

Dealing with inflation is among the most pressing challenges facing policy makers in Egypt today. It redistributes both income and wealth, impairs economic efficiency by distorting price signals, misallocates resources by making it harder to distinguish between changes in relative prices and changes in the overall price level and reduces the rate of investment and capital formation by creating greater uncertainty about future prices and raising real interest rates.This conference was intended to investigate the main factors driving prices in Egypt and their relative importance in an attempt to contribute to policy makers’ efforts to control inflation and achieve greater economic stability.The conference featured the presentation of several research papers prepared by both Egyptian and foreign experts, followed by comments from distinguished panelists.

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The Legal Empowerment of the Poor in Egypt

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Sep 2007

This conference attempted to contribute to the ongoing efforts aimed at empowering the poor in the areas of labor, establishing businesses, real-estate property rights and access to the rule of law.The conference featured several papers and presentations by a group of experts. Conference participants included distinguished panelists and an equally well-informed audience from civil society organizations, academia, the banking sector and the government.

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Trade in Services in Egypt: With a Focus on Maritime Transport and Related Logistics Services

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Jul 2007

Efficient maritime and related logistics services enhance competitiveness of the economy by reducing transaction costs for traders, promoting exports, providing more business opportunities for producers and jobs for workers, lowering costs of imports for consumers in addition to increasing government revenues as Egypt becomes a regional hub for transshipments. This workshop attempted to:1. Assess the current performance of maritime and related logistics services in Egypt;2. Identify the reasons behind the modest performance of these services; and3. Propose regulatory and policy options to help enhance their efficiency. The workshop will also feature presentations by local and foreign experts on Egypt’s negotiating approach towards trade in services liberalization with a focus on maritime and related logistics services.

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Employment, Productivity and Poverty in Egypt

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Jun 2007

This conference attempted to contribute to ongoing efforts aimed at generating appropriate and sufficient job opportunities, enhancing productivity and alleviating poverty. In particular, it discussed: 1. Employment, productivity and poverty in various sectors of the economy;2. ways to enhance the quality of jobs and linkages between SMEs and large firms; and3. gender occupational inequality in the new millennium in Egypt. The conference featured presentations by local and foreign experts, distinguished panelists, and an equally well-informed audience.

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The Egyptian Economy: Current Challenges and Future Prospects

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Nov 2006

The purpose of this annual conference was to take stock of key reforms undertaken in Egypt in recent years and discuss reform prospects in areas such as macroeconomic and institutional reforms. In addition, the conference focused on two specific sectors; namely the healthcare and energy sectors. At the macroeconomic and institutional levels, the conference addressed topics such as growth, distribution, and poverty reduction; monetary policy and exchange rate regimes; trade liberalization and competitiveness; unemployment and job creation; and the new pension system reform. On growth and poverty reduction, specific policies and strategies were highlighted that would simultaneously lead to high and sustained GDP growth, more equitable distribution and a rapid reduction in poverty. Under monetary policy, the main object was to present a review of the salient developments in the structure of monetary policy in Egypt starting 1991 to 2005. As for unemployment and job creation, a comprehensive assessment was conducted of the impact of diverse employment policies on job creation in Egypt. Lastly, the newly proposed pension system was explained in detail and specific proposals were offered to ensure that the new system benefits all concerned parties including employees, employers and the national economy.At the sectoral level, the conference focused on the health care and energy sectors. The purpose was to assess each sector in three areas: financing, organization and policy management. With respect to the health sector, the conference explored alternative financing methods to help mobilize additional funds for health care development; analyzed the pros and cons of decentralization; and discussed ways of promoting public-private partnerships and improving public health management and performance. As to the energy sector, an analysis and forecast was conducted for Egypt's energy resources of oil and natural gas. An investigation was also conducted of the impact of removing energy subsidies in Egypt on energy intensive industries.This large-scale project involved commissioning several research papers, the findings of which were discussed in a large two-day conference in Cairo. Research papers were also published as an edited volume in collaboration with the American University in Cairo Press.

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Rethinking the Role of the State: An Assessment of Industrial Policy in MENA

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Nov 2005

Most governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region use trade policy to protect certain industries, provide tax incentives to promote a particular type of investment, and make subsidized credit available to firms of a certain size. Such government intervention, known as industrial policy, was the topic of this conference. The aim was to assess whether state intervention leads to net benefits to society, why policymakers intervene, and how to bring about a healthier balance between states and markets.

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The Challenge of Institutional Reform in the MENA Region: Picking Winners and Losers

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Jun 2005

Most governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region use trade policy to protect certain industries, provide tax incentives to promote a particular type of investment, and make subsidized credit available to firms of a certain size. Such government intervention, known as industrial policy, was the topic of this expert group meeting. The aim was to assess whether state intervention leads to net benefits to society, why policymakers intervene, and how to bring about a healthier balance between states and markets.

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Is it Time for An Egypt-US Free Trade Agreement?

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

May 2005

Notwithstanding the strong political ties between Egypt and the U.S., the economic relationship between the two countries is not sustainable. The stubborn trade deficit in favor of the U.S., the limited U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Egypt and the dwindling economic aid all suggest that the time has come for both parties to reformulate this dimension of their relationship. Based on the premise that the two countries value their political alliance for peace and stability in the Middle East, the secure supply of oil, and the role of Egypt as a reform model for other countries in the region, this conference was intended to contribute to the debate on the future of Egypt-U.S. economic relations.

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Trade and Employment

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Jan 2005

The relationship between trade, employment and wages is far from settled. This expert group meeting surveyed the literature dealing with this relationship with a view to identifying any stylized facts and proposing areas for future research. Beyond the link between trade, employment and wages, the meeting also explored the impact of trade on heterogeneity and imperfect competition, productivity and institutions.

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The Impact of Trade Liberalization on Employment and Wages

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Jan 2005

This expert group meeting was organized by ECES and IDRC to discuss how trade liberalization affects employment and wages. The meeting aimed to better understand the impact of trade liberalization on employment and wages, and to develop a research agenda on these issues for the MENA region.

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Tax Reform in Egypt and International Experience

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Nov 2004

Egypt was gearing up to adopt a new tax regime, with potentially significant implications for taxpayers, government finance, and investors. Drawing on relevant literature and international experience, this conference discussed:1. The merits of a flat tax regime,2. lessons from tax reform in Russia and Estonia, and 3. the proposed tax reforms in Egypt.

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Formalization of Business and Real Estate in Egypt

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Jan 2004

The Egyptian Center for Economic Studies (ECES) and the Instituto Libertad Democracia (ILD) have completed a major study and developed concrete proposals on how to integrate the informal sector in Egypt into mainstream economic activity. The project was developed in close consultation with key policymakers. The work was carried out by a team of lawyers and economists from Egypt and Peru. It followed the pioneering work of Hernando De Soto. It covers the two key dimensions of extra-legality: business and real estate. The analysis deals with the magnitude of the problem, the causes of extra-legality, the legal and policy measures to eliminate it, as well as the development of a framework for implementation.The ultimate objective of the project is to provide policymakers with a blueprint for converting extra-legally held property and business to the legal system in Egypt. The findings of the study was presented in a large conference held on January 18, 2004, at the Conrad International Hotel, Cairo. The conference was intended primarily to: (1) seek feedback from various stakeholders, (2) increase awareness of the potential benefits of formalization, and (3) build support for the adoption of reform.More specifically, the conference attempted to answer the following questions:1. Why is formalization good for rapid economic growth, poverty reduction, job creation, social stability and the rule of law?2. Who are the likely winners from formalization and why is it good for both the poor and business in general?3. What are the policy and institutional reforms needed to motivate extralegal businesses in Egypt to join the formal sector and stay formal?4. What are the policy and institutional reforms needed to motivate owners of extralegal real estate to formalize their assets?5. Looking forward, what are the next steps to implement the recommended reforms?

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Fiscal Sustainability and Public Expenditures in Egypt

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Oct 2003

The conference was designed to support the reform process in Egypt by suggesting ways to maximize the benefits from public expenditures while ensuring macroeconomic stability, efficiency and equity. It addressed the best way to ensure fiscal and public debt sustainability in Egypt; how to maximize the returns from public investment and expenditures on health, education, and subsidy programs; and the alternative strategies for civil service reform and improving the budgetary process.

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Corporate Governance in the Middle East and North Africa

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Sep 2003

This conference discussed corporate governance in light of international experience. It discussed the experience with OECD principles of corporate governance; the regional landscape; capital markets; practices at the corporate level; the role of banks; and corporate governance reform in the world.

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Egypt Development Marketplace

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

May 2003

This Forum was organized in collaboration between the World Bank, the NGO Service Center, Sawiris Foundation for Social Development and the ECES. It discussed positioning Egypt in a global marketplace.

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Why do Corporations Fail? Lessons from International Experience

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Mar 2003

This conference discussed corporate failure in the US and emerging countries; corporate distress in some Arab countries and the importance of corporate governance; and how much progress Egypt made on corporate governance.

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Employment and Unemployment in Egypt

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Jan 2002

The single most important challenge facing policymakers in Egypt today is that of unemployment and creating jobs for the rapidly growing population. Not surprisingly, the government has made this issue the cornerstone of its reform effort. This emphasis is well placed. Unemployment is a waste of society’s human capital. It has direct adverse effects, especially on those with no physical assets. Further, a high concentration of unemployment among the educated youth can be destabilizing. This conference explored alternative ways to meet this challenge.

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Arab Economic Integration: Between Hope and Reality

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Oct 2001

Despite fifty years of repeated attempts at Arab economic integration, the results in terms of intraregional trade and investment flows have been very modest. This conference explained why and discussed possible ways forward. The speakers drew especially on the success of the European Union to assess the scope of Arab economic integration as an instrument for narrowing the persistent gap between the region's economic potential and its performance. Specific issues addressed include the economics and politics of Arab economic integration, barriers to trade and investment, vital conditions and incentives for integration, alternative paths to prosperity for Arab countries, and an analysis of the lessons to be learned from the European Union.

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Monetary and Exchange Rate Policies: Options for Egypt

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Nov 2000
The conference addressed the best exchange rate regime for Egypt in light of current circumstances and international experience; the possible safeguards to protect the economy against capital volatility and banking crises; and how the fiscal and monetary policy should be coordinated to achieve stability. ...
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Bringing the Shadow Economy to the Mainstream

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Nov 2000

An ECES/ILD workshop addressing the formalization of land and real-estate as well as the formalization of small businesses.

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GATS 2000: Issues, Coordination and Private Sector Input for Trade in Services Policies

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Sep 1999

This conference aimed to acquaint Egyptian businesses with the framework of the GATS negotiations, Egypt’s current GATS commitments, and the issues expected to be raised and negotiated in the next round of trade negotiations.

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Growth beyond Stabilization: Prospects for Egypt

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Feb 1999

This conference focused on the global financial crisis; globalization, income distribution and education; the legal reform as a path for growth; human capital and economic growth; institutional reform and economic growth; avoiding financial crises in emerging markets; and improving export performance and social insurance reform; among other issues.

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Corporate Taxation and Investment Decisions in Egypt

Speaker(s): Gannat El Samalouty, Cairo University

Dec 1998

This presentation addressed the following questions:1- Is the policy of extending tax incentives well-targeted and cost effective? 2- Is the tax burden too heavy in Egypt compared to other countries? 3- And what tax issues should be included in the reform agenda?

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The Mexican Experience with NAFTA: Good or Evil

Speaker(s): Francisco Gil Diaz, Director General, Avantel, Mexico

Nov 1998

This presentation addressed the following questions: 1- Is the NAFTA agreement worth it? 2- Who are the winners and losers? 3- And how to negotiate an FTA with the US?

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The Chilean Experience: Investment Promotion and Export Growth

Speaker(s): Eduardo Moyano, Head of Foreign Investment, Chile

Nov 1998
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Towards an Egypt-US Free Trade Agreement

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Nov 1997

This conference addressed the prospects of an Egypt-US free trade agreement, and discussed the Egyptian and US perspectives as well as the expected economic impact.

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How to Market Ideas from Education to Advocacy

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Nov 1997

This conference discussed several issues, including:1- the role of think tanks in civil society; 2- CIPE’s survey of regional think tanks; 3- moving from research to policy analysis and formulation; 4- advocacy and government relations;5- non-profit governance and management;6- and strategic planning and financial sustainability.

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Towards an Efficient Financial Market in Egypt

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Feb 1997

The purpose of this conference was to discuss the functioning of the financial market in Egypt, with a view to identifying policy measures that would enhance its operations while minimizing systemic risk. The discussion covered the banking sector, the capital market and other financial intermediaries.

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How Can Egypt Benefit from its Partnership Agreement with the EU?

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Jun 1996

This conference addressed the following issues:1- the economics of regional integration; 2- lessons from the NAFTA experience; 3- economic integration in East Asia: ASEAN; 4- free trade agreement between Tunisia and the European Union; 5- growth, the Maghreb and the European Union;6- impact of the customs Union with the EU on Turkey;7- effective protection and investment incentives during the transition to free trade with Europe;8- pharmaceuticals;9- textiles and clothing;10- and services.

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Bureaucrats in Business

Speaker(s): Multiple Speakers

Mar 1996

This conference aimed to discuss what makes the reform of state-owned enterprises successful and how to overcome the political obstacles to reform.

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