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Monday, 7 May 2018

Finance Ministry plans to trim Egypt’s public debt to 80% of GDP by 2020 -El Garhy

The Finance Ministry is working on a medium-term plan to trim Egypt’s public debt to 80% of GDP by 2020, down from 107-108% during FY2016-17, Finance Minister Amr El Garhy said yesterday, according to a ministry statement. Speaking during the second day of the IMF and Central Bank of Egypt’s “Inclusive Growth and Job Creation” conference, El Garhy said that the state would be able to achieve this target by reducing the budget deficit, achieving a 2% primary surplus, and raising per capita income. The IMF said in January that it expects public debt to reach 87% of GDP in FY2018-19, while next year’s state budget expects it to stand at 91-92% of GDP.

El Garhy also predicted that next year will bring significant improvements to citizens’ living standards and stressed that the state is working on further reducing unemployment figures by achieving annual growth levels of 5-6%. Boosting exports is also at the top of the government’s priorities, El Garhy also said. Next year’s budget estimates that unemployment will fall to below 11%.

CBE lays out its inclusive growth plan: CBE Governor Tarek Amer surmised the CBE’s two-fold inclusive growth strategy at the conference. First, the CBE has removed FX restrictions, and opened the FX market, which in turn has drawn in foreign investment and contributed to a drop in unemployment, he said according to Al Shorouk. Meanwhile, the CBE has a strategy to increase the funding available for SMEs as part of the government’s overall financial inclusion drive, CBE Governor Tarek Amer said, according to Al Masry Al Youm.

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