LEAP III Egypt Private Sector Landscape Assessment
Egypt’s private sector is highly developed, employing approximately 70 percent of the country’s labor force. A dynamic and young population, large market size, and access to important foreign markets drive Egypt’s enormous economic potential. Despite this progress, significant obstacles dampen the country’s ability to recognize its potential for economic growth. Most micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) operate informally, and they contribute less than 30 percent to gross domestic product (GDP). The country has a complex and burdensome legal and regulatory system. Egypt’s growing population and high rates of unemployment pose additional hurdles. The current COVID-19 crisis has superimposed related challenges and uncertainty over Egypt’s persistent development challenges. Though the Government of Egypt has taken proactive measures to mitigate the economic fallout of the crisis, the economic achievements Egypt has realized since launching its bold economic reform program risk backsliding. Short-term effects of the crisis include reductions in tourism, income from the Suez Canal, and remittances coming from the Egyptian diaspora. The long- term effects of the current crisis are yet to be fully understood.
Private sector engagement (PSE) is especially important in this time of crisis, as market-led development as envisioned by the USAID PSE Policy can only occur if the private sector emerges stronger and ready to invest in the Egyptian economy. USAID/Egypt has engaged successfully with the private sector for many years. In the past 15 years, USAID/Egypt has leveraged more than $50 million in cash and in-kind contributions through partnerships with Coca-Cola, General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, Heinz, Hewlett Packard, Houghton Mifflin, HSBC, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, and many others. USAID and implementing partners have already worked closely with more than 200 local and international companies in agribusiness, workforce development, enterprise development, tourism, higher education, and voluntary family planning (USAID/Egypt, 2019a).
Given this context, this Private Sector Landscape Assessment (PSLA) aims to gather data to help the Egypt Mission understand specific private sector–related opportunities and synergies and to inform the Mission’s 2020 Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) process. The assessment seeks to add to the Mission’s existing private sector stakeholder database, expand its understanding of private sector goals and challenges, begin relationship building with new contacts, and identify appropriate actors for potential short- and long-term partnerships.