File Photo: Egypt's planning minister Hala El-Saeed (Photo; Al-Ahram)
Egypt's Minister of Planning Hala El-Saeed said on Wednesday that the end of the 2018/19 fiscal year is expected to witness an increase in job opportunities and foreign reserves as part of the 2018-2022 medium-term sustainable development plan, a statement by the ministry read.
El-Saeed highlighted that the plan aims to provide about 750,000 job opportunities in 2018/19 by developing the capacity of the labor market.
She added that job opportunities are expected to gradually increase to 870,000 in 2021/22.
The minister said that the plan aims to increase foreign direct investments from $7.9 billion in 2017/18 to $ 11 billion in 2018/19, and up to about $ 20 billion in the last year of the plan.
She pointed out that among the objectives of the 2018-2022 plan is the development of non-oil commodity exports at an average annual growth rate of about 13 percent, increasing its value to $35 billion from $22.4 billion, according to figures released by the ministry in 2017.
El-Saeed added that the ministry also plans to reduce annual commodity imports gradually to $45 billion by 2022 instead of the 2017 figure of $56.8 billion.
The minister pointed out that the general framework of the plan aims to achieve a high GDP growth rate, starting from 5.8 percent in 2018/19 and reaching 8 percent by 2021/22.
"The objectives of the medium-term sustainable development plan also include raising the savings rate to about 11 percent in 2018/19, gradually increasing to approximately 23 percent by the end of the plan," explained El-Saeed.
The minister also said that the ministry aims at increasing the investment rate from about 16.9 percent of GDP in 2017/18 to 18 percent in the first year of the plan, and then to 25.6 percent in the last year.
El-Saeed said that the plan also aims to reduce the trade deficit steadily from 13.7 percent in 2017/18 to 11.6 percent in the first year of the plan, gradually decreasing to 7.7 percent in the last year (2021/22).
El-Saeed pointed out that reducing the total deficit in the general state budget from 9.5 percent of GDP in 2017/18 to 8.5 percent in 2018/19, and then to less than 5 percent in the last year of the plan, is one of the main objectives of the plan.
She stressed that the objectives of the plan, whether short or medium term, all serve towards achieving the goals of sustainable development represented in the vision of Egypt 2030.
The 2018-2022 plan aims to enhance the competitiveness of the Egyptian economy and accelerate its transition to the knowledge economy.
According to the planning minister, by 2030 Egypt will be ranked as one of the five leading countries in the group of emerging countries. It will also be listed among 30 countries in the international competitiveness index.