Finance Minister discusses economic progress, continued reforms with IMF Egypt Mission Chief

Daily News Egypt
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Egyptian Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait met with Ivanna Vladkova Hollar, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Mission Chief for Egypt, on the sidelines of the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings. The discussions focused on strengthening cooperation within the framework of Egypt’s IMF-backed economic reform program.

Maait highlighted Egypt’s improving economic situation following the implementation of comprehensive reforms. He pointed to positive indicators over the past nine months, including an initial budget surplus of EGP 416bn (approximately $8.62bn) – a stark contrast to the EGP 50bn (around $1.04bn) surplus recorded in the same period last year. This represents an annual growth rate exceeding 8.5 times.

Despite facing challenges from global crises and rising interest rates, Egypt maintained stability in its total budget deficit, keeping it at 5.42% of GDP compared to 5.40% the previous year. Tax revenues also saw a significant boost, increasing by over EGP 1 trillion (roughly $20.72bn) – a 41.2% rise – attributable to digitization efforts and an expanding tax base. Maait emphasized that this achievement came without imposing any new burdens on citizens or investors.

The Minister outlined the government’s ongoing commitment to structural reforms aimed at expanding the private sector’s role in the economy. These reforms prioritize a more sustainable approach focused on stimulating production, exports, and investment in human development. Egypt is actively working to attract both domestic and foreign investment to drive development and create jobs. Notably, a cap has been set on public investments for the coming fiscal year, creating ample space for private sector involvement.

Social protection for low- and middle-income families remains a top priority for the government, especially in light of inflationary pressures. Maait underscored the government’s commitment to sharing the burden with its citizens. He pointed to a 33.9% increase in actual spending on support programs, grants, and social benefits over the past nine months. The new budget for the next fiscal year will see further increases in support allocations.

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