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  • Publication
    Cairo Traffic Congestion Study : Executive Note
    (Washington, DC, 2014-05) World Bank
    The Greater Cairo Metropolitan Area (GCMA), with more than 19 million inhabitants, is host to more than one-fifth of Egypt's population. The GCMA is also an important contributor to the Egyptian economy in terms of GDP and jobs. The population of the GCMA is expected to further increase to 24 million by 2027, and correspondingly its importance to the economy will also increase. Traffic congestion is a serious problem in the GCMA with large and adverse effects on both the quality of life and the economy. In addition to the time wasted standing still in traffic, time that could be put to more productive uses, congestion results in unnecessary fuel consumption, causes additional wear and tear on vehicles, increases harmful emissions lowering air quality, increases the costs of transport for business, and makes the GCMA an unattractive location for businesses and industry. These adverse effects have very real and large monetary and nonmonetary costs not only for the economy of the GCMA, but given its size, for the economy of Egypt as well. As the population of the GCMA continues to increase, traffic congestion is becoming worse and the need to address this congestion is becoming more urgent. This report documents the results of the study. The results of this study should be of interest to policy-makers and practitioners in the GCMA, the Egyptian Government, other cities facing similar problems, and international financial institutions.
  • Publication
    Arab Republic of Egypt Workforce Development : SABER Country Report 2014
    (Washington, DC, 2014) World Bank
    From the mid-2000s to 2011, the Egyptian economy grew at a rapid pace. Yet, this economic performance has not significantly improved the country's overall competitiveness, nor has this growth impacted the masses by providing more decent jobs. In 2004, the Government of Egypt embarked on a structural reform program of liberalization and privatization, which, combined with high oil prices, booming economies in the Gulf countries, and strong global economic growth, led to real GDP growth of over 7 percent per year between FY06 and FY08. The subsequent global financial, food, and fuel crises dampened economic growth in Egypt to an average of 5 percent in FY09 and FY10, still a strong performance by international standards. However, since 2011, the macroeconomic picture has deteriorated due to unresolved political tensions and policy inflexibility.
  • Publication
    Reshaping Egypt's Economic Geography : Domestic Integration as a Development Platform
    (Washington, DC, 2012-06) World Bank
    This report investigates Egypt's regional economic growth, explores the causes for geographically unbalanced development, and proposes policy options to make unbalanced growth compatible with inclusive development. Regional disparities in income and consumption may be attributed to differences in natural endowments and geographical location, but unbalanced growth is mostly due to economies of scale, spillover effects, and the lower transaction costs that result from agglomeration. In Egypt, despite rapid progress in most welfare indicators in lagging regions, there are still substantial gaps in consumption and opportunities between growth poles and the rest of the country. Adopting integration as a development platform is not simple because spatial disparities are spanned in three dimensions: urban/rural dichotomies, the upper Egypt/lower Egypt duality, and the differences between large metropolises and the rest of the country. This typology of instruments underlies the menu of options presented in this report as the basis of domestic spatial integration as a development platform to achieve more balanced and equitable development without sacrificing growth. This report first identifies the gaps in consumption and in opportunities, showing the stark contrasts between regions and how they evolve through time. It then explores the causes of the gaps, revealing a multiplicity of factors and exposing the complexity of the problem. Finally, the bulk of the report presents the policy options to address the integration challenges.
  • Publication
    Arab Republic of Egypt - Reshaping Egypt's Economic Geography : Domestic Integration as a Development Platform, Volume 1
    (Washington, DC, 2012-06) World Bank
    This report investigates Egypt's regional economic growth, explores the causes for geographically unbalanced development, and proposes policy options to make unbalanced growth compatible with inclusive development. In Egypt, despite rapid progress in most welfare indicators in lagging regions, there are still substantial gaps in consumption and opportunities between growth poles and the rest of the country. This report's central proposal is adopting spatial integration as a development platform, in which the policy focus shifts from spreading out industrial location to spreading out access to basic public services and facilitating factor mobility, which will make growth more inclusive and development more balanced in Egypt. Egypt's new political environment provides an opportunity to examine this perennial problem from a new perspective. Adopting integration as a development platform is not simple because spatial disparities are spanned in three dimensions: urban/rural dichotomies, the upper Egypt/lower Egypt duality, and the differences between large metropolises and the rest of the country. This report first identifies the gaps in consumption and in opportunities, showing the stark contrasts between regions and how they evolve through time. It then explores the causes of the gaps, revealing a multiplicity of factors and exposing the complexity of the problem. Finally, the bulk of the report presents the policy options to address the integration challenges.
  • Publication
    Middle East and North Africa Economic Developments and Prospects, September 2011 : Investing for Growth and Jobs
    (Washington, DC, 2011-09) World Bank; Ianchovichina, Elena
    The report highlights the important links between good governance on a level legal and regulatory playing field, and the ability of investment to stimulate growth. Investment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has been strong over the last two decades in comparison with Latin America and Eastern Europe. However, in the oil exporting countries, it has been primarily supported by large and expanding public investments. Oil importers, in contrast, have shown more strength in private investment, which has increased in recent years. A concern with reliance on public investment is that in economies with weak governance there is no evidence that public investment stimulates growth. In contrast, in countries with an adequate level of protection of property rights and legal institutions, public investment is strongly linked to growth. The report also makes a strong case for private investment in services and manufacturing as engines of job creation and income growth in the region.
  • Publication
    Middle East and North Africa Economic Developments and Prospects, January 2011 : Sustaining the Recovery and Looking Beyond
    (Washington, DC, 2011-01) World Bank; Ianchovichina, Elena
    The impact of the global financial and economic crisis on the Middle East and North Africa region was relatively mild. Lack of integration and a large public sector helped insulate the region to some extent, but now these and other factors are slowing down the speed of its economic recovery. The report examines the major factors threatening the recovery and those that obstruct long-term growth – especially non-oil export growth, which in net terms contributed little to regional growth during the past decade, with non-oil exports remaining below potential in many countries in the region. The report emphasizes several major areas in need of policy makers’ attention, including restrictive trade policies, particularly those affecting trade in services; governance issues linked to uneven application of rules and regulations; inefficient and inflexible labor markets and scarcity of skills, innovation and technological capabilities.