We live in a truly global world. I am in Cairo attending the global central bank conference organized by major investment bank, and at the same time I answer my Warsaw emails, receive my RSS feeds on topics of interest and contribute to my blog.
Travel enhances horizons, for sure. When I thought about Egypt, tourism and pyramids were the first thoughts. But after listening to Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif this morning, and Central Bank of Egypt Governor Farouk Al-Okdah this evening I know that something else, very important is happening here. The country embarked on a very impresive reform path and both speakers were very committed to these reforms, had a very strong vision about where they were going. In less than a year foreign exchange market has been created from scratch and the parallel market was eliminated, Egyptians trust their currency and switch away from dollars, banking sector was privatised, and independent monetary policy was created.
The fast speed of reforms in countries like Egypt, or enormous progress made in China, make me believe that the global economy in the XXI century will be different from what we imagine today. Poor countries and emerging economies will use globalization to leap forward by reforming their institutions, improving infastructure, reshaping social assistance. And the “reform spots” such as Egypt, or Ghana will together reach a critical mass and a critical momentum. I must say that this trip to Egypt made me much more optimistic about the future outlook. Salem Aleikum.