Egypt Targets 6% Growth in FY 2020
Sunday, 21 April, 2019 - 10:30
General view of Cairo, Egypt (File Photo: Egypt)
Cairo - Asharq Al-Awsat
During his meeting on Saturday with Belgian Ambassador in Cairo Sibille de Cartier, Maait added that his country is currently completing the economic reform program, implemented since 2016, to overcome numerous difficulties until the national economy is on track, highlighted by the positive results of indicators for economic performance and the state budget.
The minister asserted the government is currently working on stabilizing the economic situation and ensure the budget succeeds in achieving an initial surplus of 0.2 percent for the first time in ten years, in addition to reducing public debt rates currently recording 98 percent of the gross domestic product (gdp), down from 108 percent during last year.
The minister asserted that the government aims to reduce the overall deficit rate from 8.4 percent forecast for the current FY to 7 percent by the end of next FY.
The Finance Ministry, according to Maait, is working to establish a fair tax system with modern mechanisms and procedures, to seek complete automation of the work systems of the Tax Authority.
He pointed out that the Finance Ministry is also seeking to include the non-public economic sector under the state umbrella, especially that many studies indicate this sector is about 60 percent of the size of the public sector economy.
He announced that the ministry is working on the issuance of a package of laws and legislation that encourage this sector to establish connections with its clients so that they benefit from the many services provided.
Maait said that reforming the financial and fiscal policy and ensuring their stability is an important factor to attract and increase investments, which will in turn contribute to raising rates of growth and low unemployment rates.
The reform of fiscal policy and its stability are of the most important factors to attract and increase investments, which in turn contribute to raising growth rates and decreasing unemployment rates, which has already declined to 9.8 percent, compared with 13 percent during last year’s FY.
The Finance Ministry is also working to modernize the tax regulatory system and adopt modern tax systems in line with best global practices to facilitate investments and expand the base of domestic and foreign investment.
The minister stressed that choosing Egypt to chair the African Union is one of the important features to restore Cairo's leading role in the continent.
He stressed the importance of activating the African Continental Free Trade Area to enter into force as soon as possible, as well as strengthen cross-border infrastructure in the continent and create pioneering alliances for investment in infrastructure and enhance industry competitiveness among all African countries.
He pointed out that Cairo continues to pursue the institutional and financial reform efforts of the Union, and Egypt is fully prepared to implement health initiatives in support of African citizens.
Maait said that the Egyptian government is keen to remove all obstacles facing Belgian investments in the country, and seeks to simplify all governmental procedures to support efforts to increase the volume and activity of Belgian investments.
In turn, the Belgian Ambassador expressed her country’s readiness to provide support and assistance in various areas of reform adopted by the Egyptian government.
De Cartier also noted that her country will provide technical support to the Finance Ministry to re-engineer tax procedures in applying the best and latest technological systems for the tax and customs services.