External shocks have hindered Egypt’s economic growth, says Maait
**#2 Egypt’s economy would have grown much faster had it not been for external shocks including high oil prices, rising rates in the US, and a strengthening USD, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait tells CNBC in an interview (watch, runtime: 3:35). “We are able to absorb some of the shocks. Others have more of a negative effect,” he said, adding that there is a limit to how much Egypt can sustain. “Hopefully what is happening now will be corrected and we’ll move into a stable position.” Despite that, Egypt is “still on track,” with unemployment levels dropping, GDP growth rising, and the budget deficit narrowing, according to Maait.
Controlling public debt is also a top priority for the government, Maait added. The minister said on Monday that the government was working on a new policy package to bring debt levels down. Proposed measures, which will be announced within weeks, include caps on external and internal borrowing and further structural reform.