VIEW FROM AFAR: An Egyptian in Paris

Egyptian expatriates on Egypt’s economy

Victor Salama is an Egyptian IT sales manager who has lived in Paris for 25 years.  He visits Egypt twice a year.  

“Contrary to what most experts say, I’m quite confident about the egyptian economy. We have so many competitive advantages (skilled labour, gas, the Suez Canal, high proportion of people qualified in IT and telecoms and tourism).

Our main problem is that we don’t have a solid industry. No country has ever passed from an agricultural economy to a service economy directly, without experiencing an industrial revolution.

What we need is a real education system. That is not likely to happen in the near future with the current government [of Mohammed Morsi] mainly focusing on religious issues.

In my opinion, we have the worst of two worlds (religious and military). I’m hopeful though because I feel our generation isn’t afraid of saying what we feel and what we want.

I’ve been thinking about moving back to Egypt for quite some time. I would love to come back for a couple of years. I don’t think political changes will influence my decision, unless of course Egypt shifts quickly towards a theocratic state, in which case i might reconsider.

We’ll have a rough time coming ahead (3 to 5 years) but if we can overcome this tempest we’ll see better days ahead. But that’s a big IF…”

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