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Egypt Expects 5.9% Economic Growth in 2020

Egypt Expects 5.9% Economic Growth in 2020

Tuesday, 21 January, 2020 - 08:00
A bank employee counts stacks of EGP5 and 50 piastre notes as he works at Bank Misr in downtown Cairo, Egypt, June 8, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Cairo- Asharq Al-Awsat

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said Monday that the government expects economic growth to come in at 5.8 percent – 5.9 percent for the fiscal year 2019-2020.

In a press conference in Cairo, the minister said that the overall budget deficit rose to 3.8 percent in the first half of the fiscal year, compared to 3.6 percent in the same period of the prior fiscal year. He attributed the increase in the deficit to an early payment of EGP16 billion in debts that were due in April, in addition to paying EGP33 billion in insurance dues.

Egypt is on track to reduce its total debt to a lower-than-expected 83 percent of GDP by the end of the fiscal year, compared to the past target of 89 percent.

Additionally, the minister said in a separate press statement that the tax revenues amounted to EGP304 billion in H1 of the current fiscal year.

On the other hand, he said that foreign investments in government debt instruments amounted to USD22 billion at the end of December. In Sep., he stated that foreign investments in government debt instruments amounted to USD20 billion since liberating the exchange rate and until the end of Aug.

Egypt became dependent on external borrowing and foreign funds surge at debt instruments in order to save the dollar. It also relies on main sources such as revenues of Suez Canal, tourism and Egyptians’ transfers from abroad.

Exports witnessed no growth, however, equivalent to liberating the exchange rate at the end of 2016.

Ahmed Kjok, Deputy Minister of Finance for financial policies, said that the taxes from sovereign authorities dropped by 27 percent in H1 of the financial year because of changes in the exchange rate, interest rate, and global trade.

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