Egypt is pursuing package of reforms to boost economy — official

Egyptian Finance Minister Dr. Mohammad Maait said on Saturday the government is proceeding with execution of a package of reforms to boost the economy in the face of “external shocks.” The minister in a statement released by his department said the recent Fitch rating of the Egyptian economy at the B level with a negative outlook reflected the agency’s assessment of the need for external funding amid global financial conditions unfavorable for the developing nations.

He cited as some of the challenges stressing the Egyptian economy, such as repercussions of the Ukrainian war in Europe, global inflation, rise of interest rates and cost of funding due to constraints by central banks worldwide.

These fallouts resulted in exit of capitals from the emerging markets including Egypt, Maait said — along with investors’ jitters and uncertainties.

The Egyptian economy, in the year’s first half, lured substantial foreign investments and financial resources from many international agencies despite global challenges and jitters, he said, affirming that it remained capable of attracting further external liquidity.

The government has taken a series of measures and reforms to enable the local and foreign sectors play a role in restoring the economy’s potentials to grow robustly and in a sustainable fashion, minister Maait added.

He noted that some of the measures underway are a package of financial and monetary procedures to secure external funding, in addition to the full adherence to the reforms program backed by the International Monetary Fund, thus the way would be paved for increasing resources of the foreign funds.

Minister Maait said that the current account deficit reached USD 1.8 billion during the first half of 2022-2023 as compared to USD 7.8 billion the previous same period.

Non-oil exports climbed on yearly basis to USD 12.9 billion, proceeds of the Suez Canal reached USD four billion rising by 17.8 percent, while tourism returns grew by 25.7 percent posting USD 7.3 billion.

Net direct foreign investments rose by 72.8 percent, he said, noting this indication reflected substantial improvement in the most important sections of the balance of payments in the first half of the current fiscal year, in spite of unfavorable economic conditions.

Source: Kuwait News Agency