Egypt's economic growth rate among the best worldwide despite coronavirus crisis: minister

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Thu, 18 Jun 2020 - 11:10 GMT

FILE - Planning Minister Hala el-Saeed

FILE - Planning Minister Hala el-Saeed

CAIRO - 18 June 2020: Despite the coronavirus crisis that affected many sectors in the country, Egypt's economic growth is still among the best worldwide thanks to the economic reforms that have been carried out since 2016, Planning Minister Hala el Saeed said on Wednesday.

Three years ago, Egypt's economic growth rate was 2.2 percent with a 13.5 percent unemployment rate and a 33.7 percent inflation rate but the economic growth hit 5 percent in the third quarter of this year despite the coronavirus crisis, the minister said while addressing the parliament to discuss a report by the Planning and Budget Committee on the third year 2020/2021 of the 2018/2022 sustainable development plan.

In May 2020, inflation rate hit 5 percent while unemployment was estimated at 7.5 percent and trade balance deficit declined to 36 percent, she said.

The expected economic growth rate in 2019/2020 is 4 percent which means a LE 105-billion loss in the Gross Domestic Product, least losses globally speaking, she said.

Talking about the 2020/2021 plan, she also said investments in the communications and information technology increased by 300 percent compared with 2019/2020.

More than 5 billion pounds were pumped into industrial complexes and investments in the health sector were increased by LE 21 billion.

Investments directed to most needy villages are estimated at LE 8 billion while the government seeks to channel LE 8.3 billion to carry out many projects in the irrigation and water resources domain.

Investments in the pre-university education were also increased by 35 percent to provide education to the largest number of people through setting up 27,000 classes especially in highly-populated govenorates.

Despite challenges facing the country, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi ordered the disbursement of LE 500 monthly allowances to irregular workers harmed by coronavirus.

She said 4.4 million workers applied for the allowance but after verifying the applications by the Administrative Control Authority it turned out that only 1.9 million deserve the financial support.

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