Mostafa Madbouly, Egypt’s Prime Minister, confirmed that the Egyptian government has faced many challenges during COVID-19 crisis, and was able to make achievements by adopting a proactive methodology in dealing with the pandemic and limiting its health, social and economic repercussions.
The emergency financial package for the Egyptian economy, which President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi had ordered, amounting to EGP 100bn, equivalent to 2% of the gross domestic product (GDP), has been spent efficiently, according to Madbouly.
He said, in his speech during the Akhbar Al-Youm economic conference, delivered on his behalf by Finance Minister Mohamed Maait, that the government is determined to continue stimulating the economy and pump large investments in various sectors, in addition to maintaining balanced fiscal and monetary policies, and continuing structural reforms.
He explained that the Egyptian economy has succeeded in registering the second highest economic growth rate in the world at 3.6% according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The government also reduced the debt-to-GDP ratio from 108% in fiscal year (FY) 2016/17 to 88% in FY 2019/20, and achieved surplus of 1.8% in FY 2019/20. In other emerging countries, the rates of debt and deficit doubled, and their growth came in negative.
He added that Egypt, according to J.P. Morgan, is the only country in the Middle East and Africa that successfully concluded the annual cycle of reviewing the credit rating and retained the confidence of all three global rating institutions: Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch, during one of the most difficult periods in the global economy.
He stressed that international praise, with the continuous improvement in the performance of the Egyptian economy, opens broad prospects for foreign investments in Egypt, including securities portfolios that have gained increasing interest from foreign investors. Egypt has become the most attractive for flows of stock portfolios in emerging markets in 2020. It ranked as the fifth largest concentration of foreigners and the third largest decline in interest rates, according to a DW report.
He indicated that the performance of the Egyptian economy continues, along with the recovery of production, represented in the non-oil private sector, to overcome the negative effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Purchasing Managers Index, which measures the performance of the 400 largest private sector companies in November, showed an improvement in private sector confidence in the economic performance, making the general index record 50.9 points, which means it remains above the neutral level of 50 points.