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We aim to reduce the budget deficit to 4% by 2022: Finance Minister - Daily News Egypt

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We aim to reduce the budget deficit to 4% by 2022: Finance Minister

Foreign exchange shortage has ended for every, said Amr El Garhy

Minister of Finance, Amr El Garhy, said that the government aimed at reducing the budget deficit annually by between 1 and 1.5% to reach 4-5% in 2022.

“Reducing the deficit and public debt will save more resources to invest and raise private private sector growth rates,” said El Garhy during a meeting with investors of Standard Bank Group in Washington. The meeting was also attended by Mohamed Moeit, deputy to Minister of Finance, and Ahmed Kouchouk, deputy to the minister for fiscal policies.

The Finance Minister noted that Egypt is currently considering two new issues of international bonds in dollars and euros in 2018 to diversify financing resources.

“There is an increase in the efficiency of subsidy and social protection programs, improving its capacity and targeting the groups needy for social welfare to mitigate the effects of economic reform,” he said.

The minister added that the era of foreign currency crisis, which was in Egypt, is now over, where hard cash has become available in the markets for all, noting that there are expectations of lower inflation rates in the coming months.

The Minister of Finance pointed out that Egypt targets foreign direct investments worth $10bn this year and sees great interest from investors in addition to the major legislative reforms to reform the investment climate and attract more investment.

El Garhy pointed out that the tourism sector in Egypt is a very promising sector, and that the blessing of the Pope on the path of the Holy Family in Egypt will support Egyptian tourism during the coming period.

Meanwhile, during the Egyptian delegation’s presence in the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, El Garhy said in an interview with Egyptian and US investors in Washington that the preliminary results resulting from the implementation of the economic reform program are very promising.

“We intend to continue the reform steps to achieve high growth rates and sustainable development, and we are on track, but we have many challenges and we must face them to make significant progress in the economy,” he said.

“Most of the burden of implementing the economic reform program and liberalization of the exchange rate is over. Markets are now more stable and commodities and foreign currency are available,” he added.

Moreover, he noted that the government is aware of the difficulty of triggering the latest measures on the poorer groups. Therefore, a package of more targeted social measures for low-income people was announced in parallel with the announcement of moving the prices of energy and electricity subsidies and increasing the general price of the value-added tax to 14% in July. “We will continue to improve the efficiency of public expenditure and social protection network over the medium term,” he stressed.

Furthermore, El Garhy reviewed the features of the new health insurance bill, which is expected to be presented to the parliament during the coming period.

“We intend to restructure the economic sectors such as energy and transport sectors to increase efficiency, and we pay particular attention to the activation of the electronic payment system for wages and government payments and the transition to non-monetary economy,” he added.

He also said that a number of major investors intend to increase their investment in Egypt as they choose countries that carry out long-term reforms.

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