The Egyptian economy is expected to grow by about 5.7%-6% this fiscal year (FY) compared to 5.3% in 2017, according to Minister of Finance Mohamed Moeit.
During his speech at Euromoney conference held in Cairo on Tuesday, Moeit said that fiscal surplus in FY 2017/2018 is the highest in 15 years.
Moeit told Daily News Egypt that the government seeks to reduce public debt to reach 92% by the end of the current FY 2018/2019 compared to 108% in FY 2012/2013.
The minister noted that Egypt’s net foreign reserves in July 2018 reached $44bn, which is the highest in Egypt’s history.
“The Egyptian economy has a strong ability to attract investment, along with the government’s relentless efforts to reduce unemployment,” Moeit pointed out, continuing, “we are working to overcome all obstacles to investors by developing the tax system to become easier and less burdensome to support competition and encourage the private sector as we develop the customs law to suit global competitiveness.”
Moreover, the ministry is supporting a sustainable private investment environment both on foreign and local levels including reforms on energy resources by stabilising the supply and price, the infrastructure sector by enhancing road networks, enhancing the business environment by adopting new, simplified and unified sets of laws for investments, taxes and customs, according to Moeit.
” We are focusing on simplifying dispute resolution means when it comes to taxes and other investor related issues. Furthermore, we are focusing on SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) support,” the minister elaborated, adding, “we are focusing on a structure reform agenda to enhance the competitiveness of the economy at large, by increasing productivity, empowering the labour force, increasing exports, and supporting the private sector.”
The minister revealed that 14% of the gross domestic product (GDP) come from taxes in 2018 and went on to say that the government aims for 20% in the coming years to match global standards.
He explained that the Ministry of Finance seeks to adopt a package of tax legislation during the next phase beginning with initiating an online bill system, as well as amending the Income Tax Law.
Moeit said that these legislations and amendments aim at simplifying the automated tax procedures, as well as their ability applicability.
Additionally, Moeit pointed out that these amendments aim to stimulate investments and increase the contribution of the private sector to the GDP.
He added that the ministry launched two days ago an international tender to enhance the tax cycle to achieve the same goal, and concluded, “the road is still long, but we believe that hard work will lead us to our goals.”