H.E. Dr. Ahmed Nazif, Egypt’s Prime Minister held a meeting with the Egyptian National Competitiveness Council (ENCC) to discuss the 6th Egyptian Competitiveness Report (ECR) in the presence of the ministers of state for Economic Development, Investment, Administrative Development, Trade and Industry and Social Solidarity. . The ENCC delegation included Prof. Hossam Badrawi, ENCC Honorary Chair, Mr. Helmy Abouleish, ENCC Chair, and Prof. Mona El Baradei, ENCC Executive Director. The findings of the 6th ECR “Beyond the Financial Crisis: Competitiveness and Sustainable Development” were presented. Each year, the ECR focuses on an important economic sector in order to discuss its competitiveness in more depth and make recommendations that will enhance its contribution to development. In 2009 the ECR focused on the agriculture sector.
HE Dr. Ahmed Nazif affirmed the necessity of reevaluating the legislations governing the agriculture sector, curbing the creation of laws unnecessarily and ensuring laws are harmonized rather than contradictory. He indicated that the agriculture sector has much potential to generate greater value-added in the future if Egypt increases farming lands and connects agriculture to industry.
Dr. Nazif clarified that the strategy for the agriculture sector depends on four components which are now priorities for the government within the upcoming period. These include: First, the rationalization of irrigation in reclamation and farming new lands second, the direct connection between agriculture and agro-industry third, the reconstruction of the Ministry of Agriculture’s systems in managing the agricultural process and finally, improving distribution methods.
The ECR discussed ways to overcome the challenges facing the agriculture sector including the need to make use of natural and investment resources more effectively and higher productivity of farming lands. It also discussed the need to create a more integrated agricultural process encourage the private sector to invest in agriculture and expand outreach in global markets.
The report also clarified the necessity of improving Egypt’s human capital by improving educational attainment and enhancing labor market efficiency. A comprehensive strategy which aims to boost the efficiency and productivity of all sectors will be essential in achieving this.