Thursday 9 February 2012

Feb 11th 2012: Just to make a few things clear.

(I copied this from something I wrote on Facebook, I'll add links later when I have time, although most of the data can be found through google)

In regards to the Strike being called for on the 11th, just a few things for you to get straight.

1- A general strike is not going to destroy Egypt's economy. Protests and strikes are not going to destroy Egypt's economy. Go Ask France if their country crippling strikes a few years ago destroyed their economy.

What's been destroying Egypt's Economy at a time where exports, remittances and Suez canal revenue has GROWN, isn't even the drop in tourism (although it has an effect, down by 30%, but hey, who has been running a slander campaign against non-egyptians again?? ), but it's the drop in Foreign direct investments (down 115%) that has caused the most trouble, which is down mainly because of three factors;

A) The Security situation. If a factory can't send millions of EGP worth of products out, without them getting stolen regularly, the factory can't make a profit and will shut down. (They have to resend out stolen merchandise, they have to pay breach of contract fees....etc)

B) The Internet Blackout which caused lots of companies in Egypt to be in breach of contract because they could not provide the services agreed to during the blackout, which pulled contracts, caused companies to pay penalties for breach of contract...etc, and most importantly

C) the extension of the transitional period (the longer it lasts, the worse it'll be) because generally in global economics, companies don't invest in a country going through political upheaval , because the government is what assures terms in contracts are going to be met (ElDamen). If there is an upheaval it means laws will generally change. Ergo, It makes very little logic to invest during a transitional period. Don't believe me? Ask the 150+ multinationals that expressed interest in investing in Egypt AFTER the transitional period ends. If you still don't believe me, Go ask your friendly neighborhood economist. (NOTE: not all companies in Links)

2- Everyone saying "Oh well the strike is going to fail because the Strike has no widespread support because so and so and so said they wouldn't join."
On Jan 24th 2011;

- The Muslim brotherhood said it wasn't going to join.
- The Salafis said they weren't going to join.
- The Azhar spoke out against it
- Pope Shenouda Spoke out against it
- The Mufti spoke out against it
- Political experts (like the oh so beloved Amr Hamzawy) said "We're not like Tunisia, it won't happen here"
- We (Yes even myself) said nothing was going to happen because we didn't believe there was going to be widespread support.
- We said "Just a few thousand are going to protest, and they'll get arrested and it'll be over"
- We said the uneducated and the poor aren't going to join because they can't afford to, or are afraid to...etc
- We said the people will hate the protesters.
- The list goes on and on.

Then Jan 25th 2011 came along.

3- If it worked for other countries, there's no real reason it can't work for us if done right. This entire concept of "What works in X doesn't work in Egypt" is just our ego talking. We're not better than other countries. We're not worse than other countries. We're a country like all other countries.

But I digress;
I could be wrong. You could be totally right. I just refuse to let pessimism and apathy rule me.