Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 07/2013

The Private Sector in Postrevolution Egypt

Ibrahim Saif, Ahmed Ghoneim

June 2013

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


Egypt’s 2011 revolution, which upended an entrenched political system, sent seismic tremors through the country’s economy. Ambiguity and uncertainty about the direction of government policies have resulted in reduced levels of domestic and foreign direct investment. This decline threatens to complicate Egypt’s economic challenges during its political transition and restrict the government’s fiscal and economic maneuvering space at a time when public expectations are running high. Three issues will be crucial to Egypt’s economic—and thus ultimately its political—future. The Muslim Brotherhood–led government will need to establish a reliable framework of policies and regulations for doing business in Egypt that is consistent with international norms, introduce a higher degree of transparency regarding the military’s role in the economy, and incentivize the private sector to help revitalize the country’s sluggish economy.