Economic reform helps Egypt withstand pandemic fallout: Planning Minister

Daily News Egypt
2 Min Read

Egypt is determined to proceed with its development process after the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic ends, according to Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said.

Speaking at a press conference organised by the State Information Service (SIS) on Tuesday, El-Said added that the state is putting greater focus on adopting capabilities for a green economy. This comes in addition to the state targeting self-sufficiency in food production, and providing support for the country’s health sector. 

The minister asserted that Egypt’s economic reform programme, which was introduced in 2016, has helped the country to withstand the negative impacts of the global pandemic.

El-Said explained that the government has undertaken effective economic and monetary measures to face the coronavirus crisis and providing economic and social cushioning against its side-effects.

The steps include delaying payment of all dues for a period of at least six months, reducing the interest rate by 300 bps, and offering more credit facilities. Other steps include providing a monthly allowance of EGP 500 to irregular workers for a period of three months between April and June.

The minister noted that the current crisis has taken its toll on supply and demand, whilst also paralysing all economic sectors, including tourism, aviation and industrial sectors, for months.

She went on to add that expatriate remittances sent back to Egypt are expected to fall sharply, given the current global trend towards lowering salaries or cutting jobs.

El-Said revealed that the state has invested around EGP 40bn in the information technology (IT) sector. One of the sectors that has most benefit from this is Egypt’s education sector, especially as learning has taken place online since March when schools across the country were closed.

The minister added that Egypt would have attained an economic growth rate of 6% had it not been for the coronavirus pandemic. She pointed to the importance of encouraging the active participation of the country’s private sector in Egypt’s development efforts.

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