Egypt targets a growth rate of 5.8% next year and to reach a rate of 7% in the next four years, said Minister of Planning, Follow-up, and Administrative Reform Hala Al-Saeed, adding that, during the cabinet meeting on Sunday, she reviewed the main features of the state’s sustainable development plans.
She explained that the key pillars on which these targets were based include financing distressed projects and channeling investments to job-creating sectors, such as manufacturing, which feeds other sectors such as construction, technology, and communications.
“We have taken into account the social dimension and took into consideration the existing regional disparities, so the projects are more oriented to the governorates with the highest rates of unemployment, poverty, and illiteracy,” she said.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail’s cabinet approved the state budget for fiscal year (FY) 2018/2019, which targets a GDP growth of 5.8%, up from 5.2% in the current fiscal year. The budget also targets a deficit of 8.4% of GDP, according to the statement issued by the cabinet.
The goal is to bring Egypt’s finances to a primary budget surplus of 2% by FY 2020/2021, bring unemployment down to 10.4%, and have an inflation target for the year of 13% — in line with the goals of the Central Bank of Egypt.
According to Minister of Finance Amr El-Garhy, the government’s main goal in the medium term is to achieve an initial surplus and reduce the public debt, especially with the rise in public interest rates, which may reach EGP 438bn this FY, and up to EGP 545bn next FY, increasing by 10% to 13%.
The budget will see increased spending on social welfare, and the ministers promised that spending on health and education would meet constitutional requirements. However, the statement did not mention the extent of energy subsidy cuts expected to be implemented in FY 2018/2019.