Maait's remarks were made during his meeting with Belgian Ambassador in Cairo François Cornet d'Elzius.

Maait said the budget deficit decreased to stand at 7.9 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while the initial surplus was put at 1.8 during fiscal year 2019/2020. The public debt put at 108 percent of GDP in June 2017 recorded a decrease to reach 88 percent in June 2020 despite a rise in the average governmental debt rates for all world countries to hit 15 percent of the GDP during 2020.

The economic reforms introduced in Egypt has beefed up the solidity of its economy and enabled it to deal with resilience and balance with the negative repercussions of the coronavirus crisis, Maait explained, adding that Egypt succeeded in achieving a positive growth rate of 3.6 percent during the past fiscal year, placing Cairo in the third rank of the highest growth rates worldwide.

He added that Egypt's promising projects of modernizing and digitizing the tax and customs systems would greatly contribute to luring national and foreign investments to various sectors.


The finance minister explained that the first phase of e-tax filling system was launched in January, 2021 at the Egyptian Tax Authority (ETA) centers for the large and medium-sized enterprises well as the private sector taxpayers, adding that the system will be publicized nationwide over four stages ending in 2022.


He also noted that Egypt has been one of the leading countries in the Middle East and Africa in applying the e-bills system.

The Belgian ambassador, for his part, voiced his appreciation of the Egyptian government efforts for modernizing the systems of taxing and customs, noting that such steps would create a favorable climate for investment and ease all relevant measures for taxpayers.

He also commended the economic reform plans of the Egyptian government, asserting that his country will deeply be interested in encouraging Belgian investments to Egypt in all sectors, especially energy, transport.

The ambassador also voiced happiness over the overall revamp of the Baron Empain palace in Heliopolis, saying that it was a model of bilateral cooperation.

The two sides also discussed means of beefing up cooperation between the finance ministries in Egypt and Belgium for the sake of exchanging expertise amid such great economic mishap worldwide