Experts fear political unrest could deal further economic blow

Economic experts and investors have warned that Egypt’s ongoing political instability could harm the still-fragile economy, stressing that economic indicators do not have the strength to withstand the fallout from recent protests and events.

Federation of Chambers of Commerce head Ahmed al-Wakil said that the instability could result in a halt to new foreign investment.

 “We were hoping to enter into the stage of political stability as quickly as possible,” he said. “Our economy no longer has the ability to withstand this turbulent situation.”

Hamdi al-Najjar, head of the General Division for Importers, said that the current unrest could force shipping, aviation and insurance companies to raise transportation expenses for Egyptian companies as a result of the increased business risks.

He added that many Egyptian banks and insurance companies have seen their credit ratings cut, as a result of recent political turmoil, saying that a return to stability would also lead to positive economic indicators.

On the other hand, Pasant Fahmi, a banking expert and former adviser of Al-Baraka Bank, said that the developments on the political scene also have positive aspects, including the unity of the opposition, after frequent disputes had erupted between various political groups and factions, of which she counted more than 27.

Such a situation brings the country closer to democratization, she said, adding that it is unlikely that recent developments would negatively affect credit ratings.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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