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The political will to promote industry in Egypt has thus been affirmed for many years, under a variety of strategies. To what extent has Egypt’s industrial performance matched the effort invested? Has not the country’s political commitment to industrialisation run afoul of economic reality? This paper attempts to answer these questions, focusing on the period from 1970 to the present. We begin by reviewing the industrialisation policies under Sadat and Mubarak, placing them in their political and economic context. Next, we analyse the performance of Egyptian industry as a driver of long-term growth. Lastly, we try to explain why the development of Egyptian industry, and particularly manufacturing, has been thwarted since the early 1970s, despite the government’s declared intention to promote this sector.

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