Sunday, July 18, 2010
In 1956, Egypt celebrated the 2nd Arab Scout Jamboree by issuing a set of semi-postal stamps (Scott #B13-15) and a pair of souvenir sheets (perf. and imperf. - Scott # B15Note) Only 3,800 sets of the souvenir sheets were issued, and Scott '10 prices them unused at $1,500.00 . These scarce souvenir sheets have dual market appeal as Boy Scout Topicals issued by an emerging market country for which I feel bullish about the stamp market. Worldwide membership of the Boy Scouts is estimated at 25 million, and Scouting topicals are extremely popular internationally.
With an estimated 76 million people, Egypt possesses one of the most developed economies in the Mid-East, with a GDP growth rate of 5%-7%. The government is undertaking major economic reforms to further spur development, including massive investments in infrastructure and liberalizing economic and tax policies to encourage foreign investment. Egypt's main challenge in the years to come will be one of social and political democratization - how to assure that enough of the new wealth trickles down to the majority of the population to lessen the problems of poverty and political instability. Nevertheless, barring major political instability, it is likely that Egypt will be one of the fastest growing economies over the next several decades.