Egyptian economy showed better-than-expected performance during pandemic

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Tue, 30 Mar 2021 - 08:33 GMT

FILE - Minister of Finance Mohamed Maeet

FILE - Minister of Finance Mohamed Maeet

CAIRO – 30 March 2021: Egypt’s Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait on Tuesday said the Egyptian economy has shown better performance than international expectations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Delivering a speech at Bt100 Awards ceremony, Maait said the economic reform program contributed to enabling the state to adopt a flexible policy in facing the severe economic implications of the pandemic, supporting the most harmed classes and advancing national economy.

He said expenditure on the health sector rose by 19.7 percent to LE 87.4 billion in the fiscal year 2019/2020 from LE 73 billion in 2018/2019.

The state has also backed the harmed sectors during the pandemic, including aviation and tourism, Maeet said.

This took place through dropping their real estate tax for six months, postponing the payment of their dues for three months and providing the aviation sector with a LE 2 billion loan.

The state also cared for education and information technology applications to suit the intensified use of internet for remote learning.

The expenditure on education rose by 10.5 percent to LE 145.8 billion in 2019/2020 from LE 132 billion in 2018/2019.

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Maeet also highlighted the state’s efforts to back irregular workers, industries and investments amid the pandemic.

Egypt’s coming budget targets 5.4% growth rate, 6.6% budget deficit and a primary surplus of 1.5%, Maait said.

Egypt’s economy is expected to grow by 5.5% in the FY2021/2022. Debt-to-GDP ratio is set to decrease to 88.1% and total deficit is expected to decrease to 6.6%, Maeet added.

Maeet said LE3B and LE4B were secured as guarantees to the aviation and tourism sectors, respectively. He added that LE20 billion was allocated in next fiscal year to the monetary subsidies program Takaful and Karama.

As the giant Ever Given ship blocking the canal for almost a week was freed on Monday, Maait thanked the Suez Canal Authority for the efforts done to refloat the ship and reflect the good position of Egypt to the world.

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