Egypt Targets Growth by 6% in 2018, Reducing Deficit to 8.4%

Wednesday, 5 September, 2018 - 12:15
Cairo - Asharq Al-Awsat

The Egyptian economy is expected to grow by about 5.7 to six percent this fiscal year compared to 5.3 percent in 2017, according to Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait.

Maait pointed out that the Egyptian economy has a strong ability to attract investment, in addition to the government efforts to reduce unemployment.

The new growth forecast for the fiscal year 2018-2019, which began on July 1, is 0.2 percent higher than the previous estimate of 5.8 percent.

“Egypt is targeting a budget deficit of 8.4 percent of GDP for the 2018-19 fiscal year that ends in June, compared with 9.8 percent in the previous year,” the minister noted.

“Our economy has grown faster than we’ve expected, our GDP has grown faster than the falling of our debt,” he added.

He stated that the Egyptian government has recently sought to attract investments through many actions, including improving infrastructure through road projects and others.

“We are working to overcome all obstacles for investors by developing the tax system to become easier and less burdensome in order support competition and encourage the private sector as we develop the customs law to suit global competitiveness,” he stressed.

Egypt has been working to improve efficiency, and the government has been giving priority to improving citizen service, providing social insurance coverage and encouraging the private sector to contribute to development more in the coming years, according to Maait.

Providing energy supplies is a top priority on the government agenda through diversifying energy resources and securing all citizens' needs, he said.

On the other hand, the minister stated that “the global financial crisis in 2008 had a negative impact on the Egyptian economy, but the country was able to overcome it, praising the performance of the banking sector at the time.

He explained that there are challenges facing the economy and must be dealt with.

He stressed the need to increase the productivity of the economy, in addition to the need to attract investment and encourage the private sector to implement projects.

“The budget needs reduction in the public debt, which is stated in the strategy to be presented by the Ministry of Finance to the government, which includes public debt management,” he further noted.

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