US consulting firm offers to help develop Egypt’s public sector

The US branch of consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is planning to offer an initiative to help develop the public sector in Egypt, said Ali al-Selmy, the deputy prime minister for political affairs and public enterprise minister, on Sunday.

In a press statement, PwC Executive Director Samir Shaheen, said that saving public sector companies in Egypt will help the national economy recover and reduce the need for imports.

Shaheen said that the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak did not give adequate attention to public sector companies. Under pressure from international donor institutions, Mubarak had a strong desire to get rid of public sector companies and a number of profitable ones were sold, including cement companies, Shaheen added.

The privatization of these companies was marred by corruption, he continued, stressing the need to salvage what remains of public sector companies by developing them.

Shaheen said it is crucial for public sector companies to participate in developing Egypt's economy, as their previously important role has been brought to a standstill.

He estimated the public sector’s assets at nearly LE16.5 billion. He added that Egypt has some 147 public sector companies, of which 37 are unprofitable.

The best way to deal with the unprofitable companies is to either merge them or sell their idle assets and then liquidize them, Shaheen said.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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