Egypt's new budget targets 5.5% economic growth in new FY2023/24

Gamal Essam El-Din , Monday 26 Dec 2022

The Ministry of Finance’s departments were mobilised this week to prepare Egypt's new FY2023/24 budget aiming for a 5.5 percent growth rate amid global economic crises exerting tremendous pressure on world economies, including Egypt.

 Mohamed maait. Al-Ahram
File Photo: Egypt s finance ministry Mohamed maait. Al-Ahram


"The draft of the new FY2023/24 budget prioritises three objectives: absorbing the inflationary shocks and pressures resulting from the global economic crises triggered by the war in Ukraine, expanding social protection programmes to help low-income citizens bear the rising costs of living, and achieving greater development," said Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait in a statement.

"In the new FY2023/24 we also aim to achieve greater fiscal discipline and raise the competitiveness of the Egyptian economy to be a more export-led one," he added.

The preparation of Egypt's new budget comes amid exceptional circumstances gripping the world economy and exerting tremendous pressure on the budgets of most world countries, including Egypt, by increasing the prices of goods and financing, and by disrupting supply chains.

"The global economic challenges, however, will not dissuade the government from pursuing the objective of building a new republic based on raising the standard of living for citizens, improving public services and guaranteeing a fair distribution of budgetary allocations to achieve growth and development for all sectors of society in all areas," said Maait.

Maait clarified that the new budget is primarily designed to cushion low-income citizens against the global inflationary shocks through social protection programmes.

"In this respect, the budget will extend the umbrella of the Decent Life initiative to cover 60 percent of Egyptians living in rural areas and increase spending on health and education – the two sectors essential for continued and robust human development in Egypt," said Maait.

"Despite the global economic crises and its inflationary pressures, the new FY2023/24 budget is targetting economic growth of 5.5 percent of GDP, achieving an initial surplus of two percent, while narrowing the budget deficit to five percent on the medium term and cutting government debts down to less than 80 percent of GDP by the end of 2027," said Maait

"As for the budget's objective of achieving fiscal discipline, this will require that the government does more in FY2023/24 in the areas of improving the business climate, simplifying investment licensing procedures, achieving sustainable high growth rates, boosting productivity and export rates and localising industries," said Maait.

"The new budget will also place special emphasis on small-scale enterprises, manufacturing industries, a greater shift towards green economy and more investments in clean energy sectors," he added.

Maait said the new budget will be clear in stating that "the private sector will be the locomotive of development in the new fiscal year and in this respect we hope that it will help create more job opportunities."

Maait told the Euromoney Conference last week that in spite of the effects of the war in Ukraine, Egypt was able to narrow its budget deficit to 6.1 percent of GDP and cut public debts to 87.2 percent, down from 103 percent in 2016.

"Though the war in Ukraine and its negative impact are expected to continue in 2023, we are expecting a more improved economic situation in the new year due to continued growth in revenues coming from oil and non-oil exports and Suez Canal transit fees," said Maait.

"Natural gas exports reached $600 million a month at the end of 2022 and are expected to top $1 billion a month in 2023,” he said, adding that “oil exports increased to $18 billion last June, up from $6.8 billion in June 2021", said Maait.

He added that the government is expected to generate a $100 billion from exports within 5 years. 

According to Egypt's 2014 constitution, the finance ministry should submit the new budget to the House of Representatives before the end of March each year, or three months ahead of the start of the fiscal year on 1 July.


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