The Egyptian government has informed the World Bank (WB) that it will put its privatization process on hold in response to the current economic slowdown, reported MENA. The statement followed a four-day visit to the Republic by the Bank’s Chairman, James Wolfensohn.
According to Egyptian WB Board of Director member Mohammed Kamel Amr, Wolfensohn agreed with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his government that continuing with liberalization would not be in the interest of the state at this time. He also confirmed the need for an improved performance of state companies and a tighter control on the banking sector.
The WB’s assistance strategy for Egypt focuses on private sector-led growth. The Bank’s private sector affiliate, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) increased its investments in Egypt to $470 million in 2001, making it the largest IFC aid receiver in the Middle East.
Since the government's privatization program began in 1991, 84 of 314 state-owned enterprises and 15 joint venture banks have been privatized. The Egyptian Ministry of Public Enterprise (MPE) is the government body entrusted with implementing the nation’s long-term privatization program. Responsible for all reform aspects of public enterprises, MPE carries out privatization and restructuring efforts as well as handling labor and legal issues. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )