The international community expressed its support to Egypt’s economic reform programme, Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy said in a press statement. This not only includes senior officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but also the finance ministers of France and Germany and the US deputy secretary of the treasury, he added.
El-Garhy added that investors and representatives of the international business community showed interest in Egypt’s plans to return to the international bond market with the issuance of bonds worth $2.5-3bn.
El-Garhy met with finance ministers and central bankers in the Middle East and North Africa, in addition to CEOs and leaders of global investment banks, such as Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, BNP Paribas, and Eaton Vance.
Moreover, El-Garhy emphasised the positive effect of the government’s economic reform programme, which was approved by the parliament in April, and aims to address fiscal and monetary imbalances and structural problems afflicting the economy. He pointed out that these promising developments are motivation to continue further efforts in order to achieve the desired economic and social stability.
El-Garhy stressed that the government’s financial policy is focused on reprioritising public spending to ensure efficiency, rationalise public spending, and reduce subsidies by directing it to those most in need, without burdening the eligible lower-income brackets. This should reduce the public deficit to 10% of the GDP in the current fiscal year.
He explained the features of the IMF agreement, which is an important step to strengthen international confidence in the government’s programme and secure the funding required to implement economic reforms.
He added that the most important aspects of the programme are the recently activated value-added tax, the tax disputes law, and tax administration and development plans to integrate the informal economy and broaden the tax base. This aims to fix existing imbalances in the business community, without negatively affecting the lower- and middle-income brackets.
The minister put an emphasis on new policies being implemented to strengthen the social safety net, both in regards to direct support programmes for those in need and social programmes, such as social housing, pension funds, and insurance. He also pointed out that there has been an increase in public spending on education and health.