Jeff Horwich: Mohamed Morsi will be the next president of Egypt. He’ll have to figure out what being president even means after the military redefined his powers last week. One of his other major challenges is to remake the economy. Egypt suffers from high unemployment and income inequality, among other maladies.
Magda Kandil is executive director of the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies. Ms. Kandil, thanks for joining us.
Magda Kandil: Thank you for inviting me.
Horwich: So now that you have some resolution in the presidential race, is there an immediate impact on the Egyptian economy, would you say?
Kandil: We hope so. I think the first order of business is political stability, which we have been lacking for some time. We do not know yet the powers of the president and how he’s going to establish a political consensus given the institutional structure that he will be dealing with.
Horwich: So with the Muslim Brotherhood now in control of the presidency, and presumably, perhaps the parliament as well — what kind of an economic platform does that mean?
Kandil: I think they are for a pro-market economy. They are catering to mobilize support and funds to the small and medium enterprises. The Muslim Brotherhood is well connected at the community level, and hopefully they will uphold the orientation of Egypt to integrate even further with the international community and to mobilize more trade flows and investment flows.
Horwich: Now, the next Egyptian election is going to determine the parliament that will help write a new constitution. What would you like to see in that constitution — specifically with regards to economic principles.
Kandil: I’d like to see in the constitution that we are going to preserve the ideology of a free market economy, including equal opportunities for the small and medium enterprises. And enforcing the rules and regulations that would help establish a level playing field so we would not have practices that would undermine the capacity of the largest majority of the business community to take part in the growth process.
Horwich: Magda Kandil with the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies.Thank you very much.
Kandil: Thank you very much for having me.
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