Egypt's finance ministry will complete the state budget’s automation and the creation of a Treasury Single Account at the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) this month, Minister Amr El-Garhy told a delegation from MEDEF, the French Business Confederation, according to a ministry statement.
The government will close sub-accounts of various administrative bodies at the CBE and replace them with the Treasury Single Account, which serves to consolidate and manage governments’ cash resources, hence minimising borrowing costs, according to the IMF's definition.
This is part of the Government Fiscal Management Information System (GFMIS) “to increase transparency of public finance and accounting and to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and the economy of public service delivery,” according to e-finance, the company that manages the government’s financial network.
El-Garhy and the MEDEF delegation of French private sector business representatives discussed cooperation in the development of electronic systems within the state’s administrations as well as offering training on using such systems.
Egypt is establishing a network to enable electronic payments and collections to and from the government, which is being built and operated by e-finance.
E-payments include payroll for government employees and payments to contractors, and e-collections include taxes and customs.
The new system includes cancelling paper cheques in government payments and collections, as of last December.
The ministry also recently launched an automated service for filing tax returns.
The budget automation is expected to cut expenditure by 10 percent, Minister El-Garhy said in August 2017.
El-Garhy also noted at the meeting with MEDEF that the government is working on simplifying tax procedures and legislation for small and medium enterprises and microenterprises in a bid to integrate them within the formal economy.
MEDEF works on spreading French know-how abroad and supporting trade, investments and technological innovation, according to MEDEF’s website.
The confederation recently launched the “Digital Disruption Lab” to promote the benefits of digitisation and establish partnerships with foreign ecosystems.
El-Garhy and the MEDEF delegation also discussed cooperation in implementing the new health insurance system, which was launched in Port Said.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron discussed bilateral relations over the phone on Tuesday.
France was the sixth biggest investor in Egypt in 2016, with €3.5 billion worth of investments, according to Egypt's State Information Service.