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Egypt's economy no better two years after Hosni Mubarak

Egyptian protesters stand on a fence by the Nile River during a protest against Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi near Tahrir Square on Feb. 1, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. Protests continued across Egypt nearly one week after the second anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution that overthrew former President Hosni Mubarak on Jan. 25, 2011.

Two years ago today, after a month of sometimes violent protests, Hosni Mubarak was forced to resign as the president of Egypt. There is now a new president, but not much more political stability. And, depending on the day, just as much unrest on the streets, protesting the new regime.

It's a continuing challenge for Egypt's already struggling economy, and a disappointment for business leaders who once had hope for more political and economic change. "It has been two years since the revolution, but it all hasn't been tragic -- there are times worse than now and some better than now -- but the economy is suffering badly, especially tourism, which is 11 percent of the GDP," said Hisham Fahmy, CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt. "All our friends from around the world who are waiting to support Egypt are on hold --  and that is precarious."

Despite the problems, he says people still need to buy food and other products, which has been a boon to multi-national companies like Proctor & Gamble and GM. "There are people reaping opportunities," he says. "Unfortunately, [the unrest] has affected smaller companies -- people who can't afford to pay their employees."

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.
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