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Friday, 20 October 2017

Egypt unemployment rate dips to 11.9 percent as new projects create 1.2 mln job: Minister

Ahram Online , Wednesday 11 Oct 2017
Hala El-Saied
File Photo: Planning minister Hala El-Saied (Photo: Ahram)
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Egypt's latest projects and investments have led to a slight drop of 11.9 percent in the unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of 2017, down from 12 percent in the first quarter of 2017, planning and administrative reforms minister Hala El-Saied announced in a speech during the inauguration of the first phase of the New Administrative Capital on Tuesday.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and other top government and army officials.

El-Saied said that the unemployment rate has fallen due to new projects and investments that are providing an average of 1.2 million direct job opportunities.

In May 2016, the unemployment rate was at 12.6 percent, and in in the last quarter of 2016 it registered 12.4 percent, according to official statistics agency CAPMAS.

The minister said that overall investments in Egypt since July 2014 have had a positive impact on the country's economy and GDP growth.

"The number of investments till the last quarter of 2017 will jump to 10,387 projects, with overall investments of 1.3 trillion EGP," the minister said, describing this as "unprecedented."

She added that 5,386 projects have been finalised with investments totaling EGP 663 billion, with 4,045 projects set to be undertaken by 2018.

"The state invests in three main fields; infrastructure, which includes housing and urban development, as well as human development and productive services," she said.

According to the minister, the state has been carrying out 4,000 projects in the field of infrastructure with an allocated EGP 1.2 trillion to cover population increase, as well as 5,000 projects in human development at $132 billion.

The statements by the minister comes one day after the release of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF)'s World Economic Outlook report for October, which predicted Egypt's GDP growth to reach 4.5 percent in fiscal year 2017/18.

The country's GDP stood at 4.2 percent in the 2016/17 fiscal year, which ended in June.

In late 2016, the IMF agreed to loan Egypt $12 billion to help bring the country’s economy back on track.

Egypt has already received $4 billion in instalments, the latest disbursement being $1.25 billion last July. 

In late September, the IMF praised Egypt’s economic reform programme, saying that Cairo should receive its third loan instalment worth $2 billion after the year-end review.

Egypt expects the next review of its IMF loan program by end-October, ahead of a $2 billion disbursement set for December.

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