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 - 29 August 2022: Egypt recorded the highest growth rate since 2008 at 6.6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of June 2022, compared to a global average of 3.2 percent for emerging economies, according to the Minister of Finance, Mohamed Maait.
Maait added Monday during a conference to review the financial performance indicators for the current fiscal year budget (2022/2023) that the unemployment rate fell to 7.2 percent in June 2022 by providing 826,000 jobs.
He stated that the budget deficit decreased from 13 percent in the fiscal year 2012/2013 to 6.1 percent of GDP in the last fiscal year, thus making the budget deficit rate, for the first time in years, lower from the average in the emerging countries.
“We were able to achieve a primary surplus for the fifth year in a row, at a value of LE 100 billion, at a rate of 1.3 percent of GDP, thus making Egypt one of the few emerging economies that achieved a primary surplus in the last fiscal year 2021/2022,” he noted.
The minister explained that the revenues of the state's general budget rose by 19.6 percent compared to an annual growth rate of expenditures of 14.8 percent.
Tax revenues also increased by 18.7 percent, according to the minister.
Maait elaborated that the increase of the tax revenues reflect the government's efforts to integrate the informal economy into the formal economy, achieve tax justice, and account for the tax community more accurately through the expansion of technological solutions and electronic tax systems such as electronic invoice, electronic receipt, and a system of automated unified tax procedures, while laying the foundations of financial discipline, and working to achieve economic and development goals.
He pointed out that the debt-to-GDP ratio decreased from 103 percent in June 2017 to 87.2 percent in June 2022, compared to a global government debt ratio of 99 percent of global GDP.
Furthermore, the minister said that the debt ratio also decreased by 15.6 percent to GDP during the period from 2016/2022, compared to an increase of 19.5 percent in emerging countries. “We aim to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio to 75 percent by 2026,” he stated.
He pointed out that 77 percent of the government's debt is domestic to institutions and individuals in Egypt and only 23 percent is external in hard currency.
“The external debt of the budgetary organs stabilized at $81.4 billion in June 2022, at a rate of 19.2 percent of GDP, compared to $81.3 billion in June 2021,” he added, noting that this is a long-term debt with an average of 12 years and a cost of less than 6 percent.
Maait said that the size of the Egyptian economy has tripled during the past six years, at rates that exceed government indebtedness, in a way that reflects the government's success in directing development funds to real investments, and feasible projects and initiatives that have contributed to improving the infrastructure in an unprecedented way has become more attractive and stimulating to private sector investments, thus helping to boost economic activity, providing job opportunities for citizens and upgrading the level of services provided to them.