Egypt to aim for 5% economic growth rate in 2017/18 budget: Finance ministry

Ahram Online , Sunday 25 Dec 2016

Ministry to focus on economic policies that support productive sectors, such as industrial activity, investment and increasing exports

Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy
File Photo: Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy at a news conference in Cairo, Egypt 11 August, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's finance ministry will aim for an economic growth rate of five percent in the next financial year, according to details from its outline 2017/18 budget released on Sunday.

The ministry also said it hopes to reduce the budget deficit to 9.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the total public debt to 94 percent. 

Egypt's total public debt amounts to EGP 2.6 trillion or 94.5 percent of the GDP, according to the central bank's data.

The budget will also aim for an unemployment rate of 11 percent, down from the current 12.6 percent.

According to the statement, the targeted growth rate will be achieved through adopting a range of economic policies, including support for productive sectors, such as industrial activity, investment and increasing exports. The focus on national mega projects will likewise continue, with growth in mind.

In 2014, Egypt embarked on a plan to introduce a number of fiscal reforms, including fuel-subsidy cuts, as well as imposing new taxes to ease a growing budget deficit.

In early November, Egypt's central bank decided to freely float the pound and raise key interest rates as part of a set of reforms aimed at alleviating a dollar shortage and stabilising the country's flagging economy.

Egypt’s economic growth rate registered 4.3 percent of GDP in the fiscal year 2015/16, down from 4.4 percent in the previous fiscal year.

The budget deficit for the fiscal year ending June 2016 registered 12.3 percent of GDP, according the ministry's latest monthly bulletin.

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