Egypt's cabinet IDSC pushes for more reforms to tackle economic challenges

Ahram Online , Sunday 5 Mar 2023

Egypt’s cabinet Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) recommends expanding the tax base, diversifying financing instruments, and accelerating efforts of engaging the informal activities in the formal sector as key elements for the Egyptian economy to navigate the current economic challenges.

Information and Decision Support Center - IDSC


IDSC has started a series of workshops in an effort to explore practical ways to respond to the economic challenges facing Egypt.

Since March 2022, when the war between Russia and Ukraine broke out, more than $25 billion – in indirect investment in local debt instruments also known as “hot money” – left the country, causing a significant shortage in hard currency and a sharp rise in commodities and goods prices.

During the workshop, Non-Executive Chairman of Commercial International Bank Sherif Samy stated that there is a need to continue the steps of structural reform of the Egyptian economy to deal with the decline in capital inflows amid the interest rates hike in the US.

For her part, Head of the Department of Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University Nagwa Samak stressed the importance of the export and production sectors in reducing the debt burdens and inflation , as well as in achieving real GDP growth.

Meanwhile, Director of the Egypt Center for Economic and Strategic Studies Mostafa Abu Zeid stated that including the informal activities into the formal economy is necessary in order to raise the GDP growth, along with tax and administrative reforms.

Senior Economist at the Macro Fiscal Policies Unit of the Ministry of Finance Mostafa Kotby stated that Egypt is trying to reduce public debt and diversify finance sources.

Kotby cited as an example of these efforts the Samurai bonds that the government issued in 2022 in Japanese yen at a value equivalent to $500 million, and the issuing of green bonds worth $750 million in 2020.

“We aim to continue to extend the debt maturity to 3-4 years by the end of June 2023 and to reduce the volume of debt to GDP ratio by 2026 to below 80 percent. We also target increasing budget revenues during 2023 by 18 percent,” he said.

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