Egypt was ranked 73rd out of 79 developing economies in the World Economic Forum’s Inclusive Growth Development Index (IDI) for 2017 released on January 23, which was later met with backlash by the Ministry of Investment.
“The country struggles with many aspects of inclusive growth. Over five years, its GDP per capita and labor productivity have barely grown,” the report reads.
The report goes on to list why Egypt has been placed six positions near the end, including the high income and wealth inequality rates, as well as the unemployment rate. “More and more people who are not in the workforce need to be supported by even fewer workers,” it explained.
The report also notes that Egypt suffers from an extremely high debt-to-GDP ratio and high carbon intensity, placing future GDP at risk.
In response, the Ministry of Investment released a statement criticizing the IDI on a number of aspects. It argued that the IDI only covered the period between 2011 and 2015, not mentioning the “achievements the state has accomplished in the past two years…The political leadership managed to achieve the first elements towards political stability and security…[This is] in addition to the boom that has been made in infrastructure, developments to the roads network, power plants and ports, which are core to making any economic climate attractive for investment.”
The ministry’s statement also argues that when the analysis is read in a scientific manner, it must take into account not to compare Egypt to the 109 countries in evaluation, but only to the group of 79 developing countries. “The comparison has to also be made among the group of lower-middle-income countries, which are 37 in number,” it continued.