Egypt aims to bring budget deficit to 4% only: Finance minister tells Economic Conference

MENA , Sunday 23 Oct 2022

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said on Sunday that Egypt aims to cut the public budget deficit to only four percent; a figure that has not been achieved for 42 years.

Mohamed Maait
Finance Minister Mohamed Maait


Addressing Egypt's 2022 Economic Conference, the minister added that the average budget deficit in Egypt for 42 years has reached 7.9 percent.

"The best figure was achieved after the Gulf War when debts were dropped, bringing the budget deficit to only 5 percent," he noted.

The budget deficit for Egypt in the emerging market reached 5.4 percent, while the current budget deficit stood at 6.1 percent, Maait said.

Egypt did not achieve a budget surplus in 42 years until 2017-18, before continuing to achieve a fiscal surplus until 2022 at 1.3 percent, he added.

"A surplus of 2.3 percent is expected to be reached in the 2026-27 fiscal year," he said.

The lowest debt that Egypt recorded over the past 42 years was 78.7 percent of the GDP, while the maximum debt reached 159 percent, the minister said.

Before Covid 19, Egypt was moving toward achieving the lowest public debt at 80.2 percent, but the pandemic and economic crisis caused us to stop at this point, and then we reached 87.2 percent, he added.

Egypt aims to reach a debt of 72 percent in the next five years, to be the lowest level in 42 years, the minister said.

11% surplus of GPD

Maait also stressed that the performance of the fiscal year of 2022-23 is encouraging despite the tough global circumstances, noting Egypt achieved a primary surplus of 11 percent of GDP during the period from July to September 2022.

He highlighted an improvement in the sectors of tourism, industry, oil and natural gas, and information technology during the FY 2021-22.

The government targets gas exports worth $1 billion monthly by January as the country's gas exports amount to $600 million, Maait said, underlining the foreign direct investments had reached $8.9 billion with an annual increase of 71.4 percent.

The government, Maait pointed out, under presidential directives, works on reshaping the economic structure of Egypt by empowering the private sector to have a bigger role in the economic development process.

The current economic challenges impose the importance of maximizing industrial and agricultural production and strengthening the industry, a matter that will be fulfilled by the participation of the private sector, the minister added.

Senior government officials, high-profile economists, intellectuals, thinkers, specialists, businessmen, as well as representatives of more than 80 political parties and parliament members are attending Egypt's Economic Conference 2022.

The conference is the fourth of its kind in Egypt over the past four decades, the last of which was in 2015 amid the start of economic reforms and waves of terrorist attacks that hit the country, Prime Minsiter Mostafa Madbouly said in the opening session of the event.

The conference kicked off on Sunday in the New Administrative Capital east of Cairo in the presence of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and will run till Tuesday.


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