Attracting over 2,000 investors, consultants, and public officials, the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh resulted in $60 billion in investment agreements and pledges, and revived international interest in Egypt's economy. But after the fanfare, will Egypt's government and business leaders sustain the summit's outcomes for a meaningful impact? How will President Sisi's tax, subsidy, and investment reforms change the opportunities available to Egyptian and foreign investors in Egypt's private sector? And what additional steps will the government need to take to restore fiscal stability and drive sustained and inclusive economic growth for all Egyptians?
MEI was pleased to host Khush Choksy (U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington), Hisham Fahmy (American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt), Chris Jarvis (International Monetary Fund), and Amal Kandeel (Pioneers International) for a discussion about the outcome of the conference, and the next steps for moving Egypt's economy forward. The panel was moderated by Randa Fahmy (Fahmy Hudome International).
Khush Choksy is vice president for Turkey and Middle East Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He directs the development and implementation of policies and programs that promote U.S. trade and investment with markets in the region. Previously, Mr. Choksy was the Chamber’s senior director for the Middle East, where he expanded the membership of the U.S.-Egypt Business Council from 6 to 50 members and implemented a strategic plan to expand the Chamber’s impact in the region. Before joining the Chamber, Mr. Choksy was a director at Chemonics International. He lived and worked in Jordan for seven years, establishing relations with private and public sector leaders at a critical time in the U.S.-Middle East relationship.
Hisham Fahmy is the CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, and served previously as its executive director and general manager. For over 20 years, Mr. Fahmy has fostered friendly business relations between the U.S. and Egypt. During his tenure at AmCham Egypt, membership has grown to over 1,800, and he has organized well over two dozen Egyptian trade and investment missions to the U.S. and other countries. Mr. Fahmy helped form the AmCham MENA Council to promote U.S. business and investment in nine countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa. He is the founder and former chairman of the Egyptian Society of Association Executives and was acting director of the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies. He serves on the advisory board of the American University in Cairo’s School of Business, the Education for Employment Association, and the Egypt-U.S. Business Council.
Chris Jarvis is the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) mission chief for Egypt and an advisor in the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department. He previously served in the European Department, where he led missions to Belarus and then Ukraine. He was also a speechwriter for Rodrigo de Rato and Dominique Strauss-Kahn during their tenures as managing directors of the IMF. Mr. Jarvis has over twenty years of experience as an IMF economist, working mostly on emerging economies. Before joining the IMF he worked in the government of the United Kingdom at Her Majesty’s Treasury.
Amal Kandeel is the founder and director of Pioneers International, an international business development and advisory services limited liability company dedicated to projects in the Middle East. Before establishing Pioneers Intentional, Ms. Kandeel worked as an independent analyst and advisor on economic, geostrategic, and foreign policy issues throughout the Middle East. In this capacity, Ms. Kandeel provided research and analysis to Arab and U.S.-based entities on sub-regional, regional, and international economic security matters. She has also advised American and Egyptian small-businesses on investment in the region.
Randa Fahmy (moderator) is the founder and president of Fahmy Hudome International (FHI), a strategic consulting firm which provides counsel to Fortune 500 companies, foreign governments, media organizations, and private sector entities interested in international business transactions and energy policy. Prior to founding FHI, Ms. Fahmy was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as associate deputy secretary of energy, where she developed and implemented international energy policy. From 1995-2001, she served as counselor to United States Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI) and was a key policy advisor during his tenure on the Judiciary Committee. Prior to her government service, Ms. Fahmy was a practicing attorney with the law firm of Willkie, Farr and Gallagher, where she specialized in the areas of international trade and corporate litigation. Her expertise in international economic policy and energy has been sought by the U.S. Secretary of State, who appointed her to serve on the U.S. State Department Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy.