The Investment Climate in Egypt : Institutions or Particularistic Relationships as Conditions for Sustainable Reform
Yousfi, Hèla (2009), The Investment Climate in Egypt : Institutions or Particularistic Relationships as Conditions for Sustainable Reform, SASE's 21st Annual Meeting Capitalism in Crisis : What's Next ? Economic Regulation and Social Solidarity after the Fall of Finance Capitalism, 2009-07, Paris, France
TypeCommunication / Conférence
Conference titleSASE's 21st Annual Meeting Capitalism in Crisis : What's Next ? Economic Regulation and Social Solidarity after the Fall of Finance Capitalism
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Abstract (EN)Countries referred to as “developing” are being urged more and more to reform their “investment climate”. It is often said that a “good” investment climate leads to both increased economic growth and reduced poverty. In these countries, corrupt government, clientelism, a lack of transparency in political activities and authoritarianism are often seen as reasons behind unattractive investment climates or investors. International development agencies believe that by adopting institutional reforms based on the best practices that have proved effective elsewhere, these countries could take their places in the globalised economy. The implicit argument is that the only way to generate the necessary confidence to create a good investment climate is to substitute a system of cooperation between private investors and public actors based on personal relationships for an institutional system based on formal and impersonal rules. Based on a case study carried out in Egypt, we will argue by using an ethnographic approach that it is possible to improve the investment climate, achieve effective cooperation between private investors and political decision-makers, fight against corruption and make effective progress without waiting for radical institutional reform. In this way, we demonstrate that improving trust between private investors and public authorities is certainly a question of reforming institutions. However, the issue for developing countries is not to substitute particularistic relationships for formal universal rules to improve the investment climate, but rather to have the capacity to establish institutional systems that reflect the local conception of a “good” cooperation.
Subjects / KeywordsInstitutional reform; Investment; Egypt
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