FILE PHOTO: Egypt's Finance Minister Mohamed Maait gestures during a news conference in Cairo, Egypt July 17, 2019. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo
CAIRO – 19 September 2020: Egyptian Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait had a virtual conference Saturday with the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa Vera Songwe to discuss economic development in Egypt amid the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Maait said that the Egyptian government managed to contain the crisis caused by Coronavirus thanks to the economic reforms made by the political leadership.
He added that the government will execute further structural reforms to boost the whole economy in order to sustain domestic and foreign challenges.
The government managed to increase the economic growth rates due to the current developmental projects which broadened the export base, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and reduced the public budget deficit.
The Finance minister pointed out that the precautionary measures taken by the government such as allocating 2 percent of the GDP to support the most vulnerable during the pandemic, adding that Egypt is the only country in the Middle East and Africa to preserve amid tough economic circumstances the trust of outstanding financial institutions such as Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, and Moody’s.
Maait suggested during the meeting to have an international body that seeks to ease the burdens of debts for the African countries, by either rescheduling or postpone the payoff of such debts.
The body could operate in coordination with other regional and international financial institutions such as the Islamic Development Bank, African Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank, suggested Maait.
This body could pay off the debts of the countries impacted by the pandemic until their economy is recovered, added Maait.
On her part, the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa Vera Songwe praised the Egyptian process in dealing with the pandemic in a way noticed by all International institutions.
Songwe said that the Egyptian success took place thanks to the economic reforms enforced by the political leadership.
She supported the suggestion of having an international body under the UN’s umbrella along with other regional and international institutions to help countries affected by the pandemic.