Egypt's private sector has been blocked from taking on a bigger role in the economy despite aggressive macroeconomic reforms over the last four years, and government help is needed, the World Bank wrote in a report released on Monday.
Exports remain below those of competing countries even after Egypt cut the value of its currency by about half in November 2016, the bank said.
A lack of access to imported inputs, technology and logistics has prevented local industry from moving to more complex manufacturing activities or attracting significant foreign direct investment (FDI) outside of oil and gas.
"Despite Egypt's growing domestic market and proximity to international markets, Egypt is yet to attract strong FDI inflows," the bank wrote.
These and other hurdles have prevented private companies from absorbing waves of new entrants into the labour force.