The US is willing to deepen economic ties with Egypt and increase US investments in the Egyptian market, benefiting from the country’s attractive investment climate and its solid infrastructure, US Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Terner Mnuchin, said.
Mnuchin made his statements during a meeting held on Wednesday with Egypt’s Minister of Finance, Mohamed Maait, on the sidelines of his two-day official visit to Egypt that ends on Wednesday.
The meeting was held at the headquarter of Egypt’s finance ministry in the presence of the U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Jonathan R. Cohen, the Deputy Secretary, Justin Muzinich, the Counsellor to the Secretary U.S. Department of the Treasury, Adam Lerrick and number of Egypt’s finance ministry officials.
Mnuchin noted that the US is looking forward to enhancing bilateral cooperation with Egypt on combating money laundering operations that have become a serious risk to the world, especially that these illegal operations are linked to supporting terrorist groups.
Mnuchin praised Egypt’s economic reform programme that has contributed to boosting the economy’s structure, contained the COVID-19 spread and its repercussions, and given it the resilience against likely external and internal shocks.
He also said that the US expects the global economy to recover from the pandemic gradually, expecting a robust return of the Egyptian economy after making the vaccines against COVID-19 available globally in the upcoming period.
On his side, Minister Maait asserted Egypt’s aspiration towards growing investments and activities of the US companies in the Egyptian market to have a further role to play in the development projects of the country and to benefit from the promising incentives the Egyptian economy provides.
“We are getting ready to eliminate all obstacles for the sake of increasing US investments in Egypt, especially that Egypt is qualified to be a regional hub for companies' expansion in the Middle East and Africa," said the minister.
He added that the success of Egypt’s economic reform programme is due to strong political leadership and the support of Egyptian people that helped the country to be opted by Bloomberg among the ten fastest growing countries globally in 2020.
According to Maait, Egypt managed to achieve its economic and fiscal objectives prior to the COVID-19 crisis allowing it to pave the way for achieving the other objectives of its reforms.
In this regard, Egypt witnessed an increase in its public revenues from July to November 2020 by 13.8 percent, compared to the same period of 2019 and attained a 0.1 percent as initial surplus to GDP ratio during the same period, added Maait.
He also added that the total budget deficit declined to 3.2 percent in the same period, down from 3.6 percent in FY2019/2020.
During the meeting, Maait reviewed the international financial institutions tributes to the Egyptian economy and its ability to absorb the COVID-19 shock with minimum losses.
He also pointed out to Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi directives, by the beginning of the crisis, to allocate EGP 100 billion from the public state’s budget in order to finance the state’s plan of fighting the pandemic’s implications and mitigating its burdens shouldered by the citizens.
Maait reviewed the government’s efforts to support tourism and healthcare sectors amid the pandemic as well.