Egypt will host a conference in December to create a free trade zone between the largest economic blocs in East and West Africa which account for 60% of the continent’s trade, according to Minister of Trade and Industry Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour.
Abdel Nour said during a press conference held on Monday that Egypt has taken tough decisions in recent times with respect to economic reforms.
The Egyptian government made cuts to energy subsidies during fiscal year (FY) 2014/2015, while simultaneously imposing taxes on incomes above EGP 1m by 5% over three years.
Egypt aims to reduce the budget deficit to 10% of GDP by the end of FY 2014/2015, according to Abdel Nour.
Abdel Nour also said that the Egyptian government hopes to reduce the trade deficit during the coming phase.
The trade deficit reached 22% in July, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
Abdel Nour believes that the coming phase will witness the launch of several projects in the infrastructure sector through private sector partnerships.
“The government has worked to support small investors, because supporting them opens new markets in different parts of the world,” said Abdel Nour.