Islam Salem Ibrahim
The Impact of Egyptian Economic Policies on the Performance of Egyptian Ports in the Period Between (1973 – 2000) (A Case Study Of The Port Of Alexandria and El Dekhiela)
ABSTRACT The Arab Republic of Egypt has witnessed many successive changing economic policies since the 1960s, the period that is known as a phase of closed directed economic policies the phase of applying self-sufficiency realization policies, i.e., the inward trend. That period also witnessed a number of wars and conflicts that influenced the economic resources and development plans. Passing by the 1970s, Egypt witnessed the adoption of the open economy policy and the turn towards foreign markets to import foreign products export Egyptian ones, most of which were previously realized through bilateral agreements with the Eastern Block countries. The reliance of the Western countries on Egyptian imports increased significantly as a result of opening the Egyptian market to Arab and foreign capitals for investment in an attempt to revive the Egyptian economy that had been suffering a weakness due to scarcity of financial resources. During the 1980s, which is known as a period of external debts intensity, Egypt's debts kept increasing constantly until it reached US$ 45 billion. This led to its dependence on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in adopting a balancing policy for developing the national economy. The economy reforming policy adopted in the 1990s was characterized by an outward turn. This was done through searching for external foreign markets for Egyptian exports, particularly European ones, with an attempt to cut down imports via various successive development plans aiming at treating the enduring economic problems of which Egypt has been suffering during that period. These economic policies ranged over being restricted, cautiously open to being liberally open, the last of which was not met by a sufficient increase in the quantity, quality and variety of local production, particularly within the industries sector, yet it witnessed uncontrollable population growth rates that even birth control policies failed to contain. Accordingly, all this was reflected on Egypt's trade flow of both exports and imports and consequently on the functional performance of all Egyptian ports in general and on that of Alexandria Port in particular since it is considered the eldest and biggest of all. Egyptian ports are considered one of the most important sources that contribute to the national income through custom dues, taxes and service charges imposed on arriving vessels. Therefore, ports are affected by economic changes, in particular the flow of foreign sea borne trade that Egypt is interested in developing as it is considered a fundamental factor of economic development that has its affects on economic growth rates and social prosperity. There is no prosperity without development and no development without a balanced foreign trade. During that period, the ports functional performance has developed due to those economic policies and to rapid technological developments, which has negatively positively affected ports competitive advantage in particular Alexandria Port. This study tackles the most important Egyptian economic policies during the period from 1973 to 2000. Then it moves to discuss the influence of these policies on both Alexandria and El-Dekhiela Ports in an attempt to assess the advantages and disadvantages of the functional performance of both ports during this period as well as assessing the procedures taken to enhance the competitive advantage due to its impact on the national economy. At the end of the study, the researcher draws a number of significant conclusions that serve as a basis for recommendations associated with the improvement of ports performance and with the expansion of their productivity in the light of continuous economic changes.