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Egypt is only emerging, developing economy to achieve positive growth: Maait

Country is only MEA region economy to retain confidence of all global evaluation institutions during one of most difficult periods in global economy

October 15, 2020

Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait said that Egypt is the only emerging and developing country that has achieved a positive growth rate in this period, compared to the average negative growth rate of 3.3% reported among other such economies.

Egypt’s standing also compares to the negative growth rate of 4.1% for countries in the Middle East and Central Asia; a negative growth rate of 4.6% for emerging European countries; a growth rate of negative 8.1% for South America and the Caribbean; and a negative growth rate of 3% for African countries.

In a statement on Wednesday, Maait added that the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) “World Economic Outlook” report, also issued on Wednesday, raised its estimate of the Egyptian economy’s growth rate in fiscal year (FY) 2019/20. The IMF projections now put the local economy’s growth at 3.5%, instead of the 2% reported in its report issued last May, in line with government estimates.

The Minister said that the IMF also raised its estimate of the Egyptian economy’s growth rate in the current FY 2020/21 to 2.8%, instead of the 2% recorded in its May report. The improvement reflects the efforts made by the Egyptian government to develop and diversify the country’s growth structure.

It also indicates the importance of development projects in advancing the national economy, maximising productive capacities, expanding the export base, and providing job opportunities. It illustrates Egypt’s success in dealing with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and containing its repercussions.

This comes off the back of the political leadership taking the initiative to allocate a financial support package of 2% of GDP to support the sectors and groups most affected.

Maait said that Egypt is also the only country in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region that has maintained the confidence of all three global evaluation institutions, namely Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch. This has occurred despite 2020 presenting one of the most difficult periods in the global economy in light of the pandemic.

The minister said that the IMF’s “World Economic Outlook” report included updates to its estimates, indicators and economic forecasts. The report reflects the fund’s confidence in the Egyptian economy’s performance, and is testimony to President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s insightful vision of adopting an ambitious national programme for economic reform during the past few years.

For his part, Deputy Minister for Financial Policies and Institutional Development Ahmed Kochouk said the IMF report confirms the fund’s confidence in Egypt’s economic performance. It has also encouraged IMF experts to raise their estimates regarding the local economy’s growth rate.

Kochouk added that the Egyptian government continues to implement an integrated package of structural reforms to strengthen the macroeconomic structure. This will take place in a way that contributes to achieving economic targets, by registering a primary surplus, and raising economic growth rates, in a way that helps preserve economic gains.

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