In a first reaction to President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s statement to the Daily News Egypt on Tuesday about the four economic goals that Egypt seeks to achieve, Minister of Finance Hany Kadry Dimian and Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman seconded that the country can register 6% GDP growth rate.
Salman asserted that the government is already working on a plan that aims to achieve the desired rate within five years.
The CEO of oil company Taqa Arabia also expected that Egypt can achieve the 6% rate, adding that it implies an annual increase in the energy consumption with an average of 8-9%, which he said contributes to increase investment opportunities in the sector.
In an exclusive statement to the Daily News Egypt, Al-Sisi revealed his economic plan in the next five years, which targeted a 6% of GDP economic growth, trimming down the budget deficit from 13.7% of GDP in fiscal year 2013/14 and 10% of GDP in fiscal year 2014/2015, reducing the debt from 80% of GDP in the projected time frame from 94% at the end of fiscal year 2013/2014 and decreasing inflation rates.
Applauding the plan, head of the Constitutional Committee Amr Moussa said that the first 100 days under Al-Sisi’s rule have witnessed the launch of mega projects to increase investment opportunities and to provide an opportunity for everyone to benefit from the potential growth.
The veteran politician also noted that the foreign policy has “greatly changed”, especially regarding the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam issue, adding that both parties have reached “mutual understanding”, which he said will take us to different results in the near future. Moussa stressed that there must be a “balance” between the potential and the aspiration of the state.
Al-Sisi said in his statement: “So far we have succeeded in implementing two of the three major milestones outlined in the roadmap, namely adopting the constitution and holding the presidential elections. The third one – the election of a new legislature – will follow in the very near future.”
He added that the energy demand will be rationalised through the use of smartcards, which will be rolled out first in Port Said in November and then nationwide in April of next year.
Chairman of E-Finance Ibrahim Sarhan also mentioned in his speech at the Euromoney conference in Cairo that Egypt has the potential to achieve 6% growth rate in 5 years by adopting the government’s plans. E-Finance is supervising the government’s plan to restructure its energy subsidies, which is the fuel smartcards programme of car owners.
Sarhan added that there are “great” chances to increase investments in Egypt in the current period, adding that collecting EGP 61bn, in investment certificates for funding the new Suez Canal project during eight working days, has proved that the country has the financial ability.
Expressing his happiness with the presidential statement, Managing Director of the Euromoney Conference Company Richard Banks showed Al-Sisi’s statement on the front page of the Daily News Egypt to the attendees of the conference in one of the sessions, commenting that the goals are “realistic”, but he added that there would be many challenges.
Banks pointed out that “crucial decisions” must be taken in the next 18 months in order to achieve the goals, adding that the speed of implementing the president’s plans will determine Egypt’s economic strength in next five years.