Egypt's economic growth expected to slow down in 2nd half of fiscal year - minister

Wednesday 13-05-2015 03:33 PM
Egypt's economic growth expected to slow down in 2nd half of fiscal year - minister

CAIRO, May 13 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 3 percent during the second half of the fiscal year 2014/2015, slowing down from 5.6 percent during the first half, the planning minister said on Wednesday.

Minister Ashraf al-Arabi told a press conference that the overall fiscal year's GDP growth is expected to be 4 percent or slightly more, reported the state news agency MENA.

Egypt's GDP reached its highest growth since 2008 during the first quarter of the current fiscal year, standing at 6.8 percent, the central bank announced in January. The bank had then owed the unprecedented growth to tourism and manufacturing.

Egypt's government reduced petroleum subsidies and introduced new taxes in July 2014, hiking fuel prices by up to 78 percent. The decrease in subsidies came among a string of austerity measures introduced by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's administration since his accession to power last June.

Sisi's administration has largely focused on fixing Egypt's battered economy, which has been suffering due to four years of political turmoil since an uprising toppled former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Arabi said on Wednesday that Egypt is targeting a GDP growth of 6 percent in the period between the fiscal year 2015/2016 and the fiscal year 2018/2019, reported MENA.

The minister said that Egypt's economic position during the first nine months of the current fiscal year is much better than it was during the three previous years.

Arabi also said in a statement on Wednesday that to reach the target GDP growth of 5 percent during the fiscal year 2015/2016, we need investments worth nearly 417 billion Egyptian pounds. 

Public investments would make up around 180 billion pounds of the aforementioned sum, while the remaining 237 billion pounds would have to come from private investments, Arabi added.

If Egypt secures this amount of investments, the state's investment rate would rise from 14.3 percent of the GDP in the current fiscal year to 15 percent in the coming year, Arabi said.

The state's economic and social development plan for the year 2015/2016 relies heavily on boosting national mega projects such as the new project aimed at developing the Suez Canal region, the national roads programme and developing Egypt's underground transport system, the minister said.

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