Egypt eyes 7-8 pct GDP growth by 2016/17: minister

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Egypt aims to get its economy growing at levels seen before the global financial crisis by the fiscal year 2016/17 and expects the private sector to play a major role in the rebound, a minister said on Saturday.

Egypt’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew at 5.1 percent in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2010. While up from the previous year, the figure is still well short of rates of above 7 percent recorded before the global financial crisis, which began in late 2008.

Minister of Economic Development Osman Mohamed Osman said the country aimed to achieve growth of 7 to 8 percent by the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2016.

"The Egyptian economy aims to achieve a growth rate between 7 and 8 percent by the year 2016/17, with the private sector to have the biggest role in realizing this target," he said in comments carried by the official news agency MENA.

The most populous Arab country was shielded from the worst of the crisis partly because its cash-heavy economy had little connection to global credit markets. Revenue sources including tourism, exports and the Suez Canal were hit nevertheless.

Egypt this month cut its GDP growth figure for the 2009/10 fiscal year, which runs from July to June, to 5.1 percent from a previously stated 5.3 percent. Growth was 2008/09 in 4.7 percent, down from 7.2 percent in 2007/08.

The government said last month it expected the economy to grow by at least 6 percent this fiscal year.

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By Reuters
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