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Another $5 billion to Egypt

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Published: Updated:

Egypt is not on the brink of bankruptcy, but its economy is very sick and a miracle is required to nurse it back to health. The UAE’s delivery of $5 billion in aid to Egypt is a miracle that comes at a critical time. Egypt’s ranking on the 2013-2014 Global Competitiveness Index among 148 countries dropped to 118. Before the revolution, around three years ago, it ranked as number 81.

These indications show the scale of dangers awaiting Egyptians, who face difficult living conditions, and point out that the real enemy of the Egyptian government currently is not only the Muslim Brotherhood but the battered economy as well. This is a real threat considering the increase of inflation and unemployment, the decrease of incomes and the weak confidence of Egyptians themselves.

The help from the UAE reflects the desire to stop the opposition in Egypt from sabotaging the economy

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

The help from the UAE reflects the desire to stop the opposition in Egypt from sabotaging the economy. It also protects Egypt from being dragged into chaos and is part of a plan, which Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE have announced, to support Egypt with $12 billion in aid.

The Muslim Brotherhood opposition has decided to intimidate foreign investors. Before that, when it was in power, it sealed reconciliation deals with businessmen who had been prosecuted during the era of ousted President Hosni Mubarak. However, the Brotherhood failed to materialize reconciliation within the market itself.

The Egyptian government has many difficult duties that must be carried out simultaneously. It must finish the constitution, prepare for legislative elections, save the economy and confront the Muslim Brotherhood’s threats to spread chaos, sabotage state institutions and intimidate investors.

The new support from the UAE will strengthen confidence in the Egyptian economy and it will reassure the Egyptian people about their future. The Egyptian government still has the difficult task of implementing measures to increase the country’s productivity since it is not possible to forever count on foreign support considering the state’s huge expenditure and commitments. Therefore, countries concerned with Egypt’s stability and prosperity must not only provide financial support, they must also encourage the Egyptian cabinet to adopt more reforms and endeavor towards production plans that help the country heal and stand on its feet. It will not be easy to support a big country like Egypt, with its population of 80 million, forever. Egypt has achieved huge growth in the last decade and is therefore capable of reactivating its economy.

This article was first published in al-Sharq al-Awsat on Oct. 28, 2013.

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Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.