Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is capable of reviving the economy within a short period of time, an international economist said on Wednesday. The brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) pursue a professional approach in dealing with economic matters, he stated.
The brotherhood and the party have a group of businessmen with a strong economic background, some of whom were educated and trained abroad which qualifies them to deal with local and international economic issues professionally, economist Hernando De Soto said in an interview published in the Italian “La Stampa” newspaper today.
Officials from the brotherhood sought information on what he called “substantial evidence and statistics on his suggestions regarding the revival of the Egyptian economy and elevating the standard of living of poor classes by integrating these classes into the process of production,” De Soto stated.
The economist added that the former cabinet (under PM Essam Sharaf) did not respond to his proposals. Yet the brotherhood and the FJP have shown significant interest in these proposals especially those related to grey economy.
De Soto’s estimates of grey economy, the economy that is not accounted for legally and officially, value up to 360 million USD in the building and construction sector alone, which is six times the total sum of direct investments in the country since Napoleon left in 1803 until today.
These sums belong to the poor classes. They have not been officially documented thus they do not officially exist in the realm of the Egyptian economy. This hinders using them as properties to get loans and establish businesses, De Soto added.
He attributed this to the fact that 92 percent of these sums are not in the form of equities.
De Soto’s proposals to resuscitate the economy include recording all these economic assets and resources to offer them for market trading.
The economist emphasized that the revolution will continue unless its demand to improve the standards of living for Egyptians and Arabs is met.