The Egyptian finance minister’s deputy for financial polices Ahmed Kojok (Photo: Al-Ahram)
The Egyptian finance minister’s deputy for financial polices Ahmed Kojok says that Egypt’s macroeconomic performance in the first half of FY2019/2020 has witnessed an improvement in economic performance signs, given that economic growth has been recorded at 5.5 percent.
Kojok made his comments during a meeting held virtually on Wednesday with a number of representatives of global firms operating in the Egyptian market. The meeting was organised by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) and the USAID.
Kojok added that the unemployment rate has dropped to 8 percent at end of March and an initial surplus has been attained at EGP 40.4 billion, up from EGP 35.6 billion in the same period of FY2018/2019.
Tax revenues from on-sovereign entities has increased to 7 percent, reaching EGP 412 billion, before the economic activity affected by the COVID-19 crisis, according to Kojok.
He also highlighted the improvement in fiscal relations between the public treasury and the petroleum sector, given that it attained an EGP 20 billion surplus for the public treasury for the first time in years, in addition to the increase in the public investments to reach EGP 113 billion, EGP 89 billion of which were financed by the public treasury with an annual increase of 23.2 percent compared to last year.
The allocations for purchasing commodities and utilities have also risen by 8.5 percent, according to Kojok.
Kojok pointed out the purchasing manager’s index (PMI) for Egypt, issued on 3 June, which highlighted the upgrade in Egypt’s economic performance for private sector firms, which showed that Egypt’s PMI rose to 40.7 points in May, up from 29.7 points in April thanks to the increasing in operating rates in several firms.
He added that international institutions trust the Egyptian economy and its ability to deal positively with the COVID-19 crisis and to overcome it thanks to the economic reforms that Egypt has adopted, which is backed by the people.
Kojok added that the economic reforms have also provided a significant deal of hardness for the Egyptian economy that enabled it to cope with challenges and the external and internal shocks.
“The three giant credit rating institutions have revised and changed the credit rating for 47 emerging countries, including turning the credit rating of 35 countries to negative, of which 11 percent were in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, while it has maintained the credit rating of 12 countries including Egypt,” Kojok said.
He added that Egypt has adopted a pre-emptive policy in managing the crisis and a rapid positive dealing with its implications through providing a supportive financial package for the Egyptian economy worth EGP 100 billion (2 percent of GDP), in addition to the harmony of the monetary and financial policies in managing the liquidity and maintaining the national economy reform process.