Egypt’s Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait has said that the country’s incentive programmes aim to encourage the private sector to expand investment and development.
Maait also highlighted the continued financial reform process which will take place without any additional burdens on citizens, in a way that improves the main indicators of the state’s public budget.
This will help the government enhance spending on development investments, with the aim of improving the quality of life for Egyptian citizens, whilst providing more job opportunities.
He explained that Egypt’s financial performance indicators during the period from July to April of fiscal year (FY) 2020/21 witnessed an unprecedented improvement.
A first surplus of EGP 48bn was achieved, despite the negative repercussions of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on economic activity. Additional financing of EGP 31bn was allocated to implementing targeted development projects.
The Egyptian Government also implemented investments worth EGP 194.7bn, overseen by the Ministry of Finance, reflecting an annual growth rate of 72.3%.
The minister’s remarks came during his meeting with Australian Ambassador in Cairo Glenn Miles, which took place in the presence of Hossam Hussein, Advisor to the Minister of Finance for External Relations, and Doaa Hamdy, Acting Head of the External Relations Unit.
Maait added that the state has managed to maintain a positive growth rate of 3.6% during the past fiscal year. In FY 2020/21, the target is 2.8%, and 5.4% in the new fiscal year, despite the repercussions of the global health crisis that negatively affected the global economy.
The economic reforms programme implemented by the government has, however, ensured the Egyptian economy could respond positively and flexibly to the pandemic.
The reforms meant that it could avoid the worst scenarios, and advance development via a balance between preserving citizens’ health and pushing production.
Maait said that the Egyptian Government is adopting a number of incentive programmes to encourage the private sector to expand its investment activities in various developmental areas.
This is particularly in priority sectors, such as industry, agriculture, transport, and communication technology. Promising export opportunities with many neighbouring countries will be utilised, as well as free trade agreements where Egypt is a party, especially in light of the government’s efforts to support exporting companies.
The total arrears for subsidising exporters to Egypt’s Export Development Agency amounted to more than EGP 25bn since the start of the pandemic, Maait added.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Miles praised the Egyptian economy’s positive performance during the pandemic, and the growth opportunities in the upcoming stage. These will benefit from the advantages Egypt boasts in its geographical location and qualified workforce.
He highlighted Australian investments in Egypt, especially in the mining sector, which represent a model for fruitful cooperation between the two countries.
Miles stressed his country’s interest in strengthening joint cooperation in agriculture, and expanding the recruitment of Egyptian students to study at Australian universities to improve bilateral economic and development relations.
He also noted the Australian economy’s success in overcoming the coronavirus crisis in a short period. He noted that his country is working to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to its citizens in a speedy manner, as one of the methods of confronting the pandemic.