FILE PHOTO: Egypt's Finance Minister Mohamed Maait gestures during a news conference in Cairo, Egypt July 17, 2019. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo
CAIRO - 21 September 2022: The Egyptian government is studying with the Japanese side the issuance of "green samurai" bonds during the coming period, after the success of the first 60 billion Japanese yen bond issuance in the Japanese market, in a way that attracted many Japanese investors, according to the Minister of Finance, Mohamed Maait.
This came during Maait’s meeting with representatives of Japanese companies operating in Egypt, organized by the Japanese Businessmen Association today, in the presence of Oka Hiroshi, the Japanese ambassador in Cairo.
In March, Egypt issued Japanese Yen-denominated bonds with a total of $500 million, the first of their kind in Egypt and the Middle East.
The Samurai bond is a yen-denominated bond issued in Tokyo by non-Japanese firms and is run under Japanese regulations.
“Egypt is looking forward to doubling Japanese investments in Egypt, in order to consolidate the partnership between the two friendly countries, and in line with the bilateral cooperation relations that were manifested in the projects of Japanese schools and Japanese universities, the subway, comprehensive health insurance, gas and petroleum projects, and many programs supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Egypt, including renewable energy production projects, Abu El-Rish Children’s Hospital,” Maait added.
He pointed out that the volume of Japanese direct investments in Egypt increased by 52 percent during the fiscal year of 2021/2022, and the volume of bilateral trade during 2021 amounted to about $1.5 billion, an annual increase of 13 percent.
Egypt’sMinister of Finance, confirmed that the performance of the Egyptian economy during the last fiscal year ending in June 2022 was good, in a way that sends messages of reassurance that motivate the local and foreign business community to invest in Egypt.
He pointed to the government's success in achieving a primary surplus of 1.3% and reducing the total deficit to 6.1% and the debt rate to 87.2% of GDP by the end of June 2022.
Maait pointed out that the major and unprecedented development projects that Egypt is witnessing in various aspects of life contribute to improving the lives of citizens and upgrading the level of services provided to them, in addition to raising the growth rate to 6.6% of the gross domestic product and providing thousands of job opportunities.
“This is despite the global crisis that has cast a shadow over the economies of countries, as the repercussions of the Corona pandemic and the subsequent disruption in supply and supply chains, the increase in prices of basic commodities and services, and the high cost of financing, are intertwined,” he commented.
Maait stressed that the government aims to maintain fiscal discipline and enhance spending on health, education, and social protection; to mitigate the effects of the severe global inflationary wave on citizens as much as possible.
He pointed out that Egypt still has promising and attractive opportunities for local and foreign investments in various fields, including priority sectors through which the state aims to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development, in light of the strong infrastructure that has become more capable of accommodating the expansion of productive activities.
“The government is keen to give more space for the private sector to play its role in the development process in a way that enhances its contributions to economic activity, and perhaps the state ownership document helps empower the private sector, so that it is the locomotive of job-rich economic growth,” the minister further noted.
Previously, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli stated that the "State Ownership Document,
" which will be launched soon, consists of eight areas, and is composed of just 20 pages.
Madbouli added that the government came up with the document by checking the experience of other 30 countries that issued similar ones. He clarified that the document was drafted over seven months to make sure it would fulfill the purpose of raising the share of the private sector in public investments from 30 percent to 65 percent.
The Minister of Finance affirmed the ministry's keenness to simplify tax and customs procedures to facilitate the local and foreign business community, and encourage it to enhance investments, through the expansion of technological solutions that contribute to strengthening governance, achieving tax justice, reducing customs release time and facilitating international trade movement.