CAIRO – 7 June 2023: Egypt will not take out new loans unless they are on soft terms and only for pressing developmental needs, Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said stated before the Senate Monday.
According to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), Egypt’s foreign debt hit $159.4 billion in the first quarter of FY2022/2023, up from $155.7 billion in the corresponding quarter of FY2021/2022. Nevertheless, Egypt and the IMF made a 46-month $3-billion loan deal.
While presenting the ministry's FY2023/2024 development plan before the Senate, the minister said that the country had deliberately reduced expenditure and increased investments to contain inflation.
El-Said noted that the plan focuses on manufacturing, agriculture, and communications to increase Egypt's economic resilience. She added that the plan also seeks to increase private-sector participation, citing the State Ownership Policy Document, which restricts state investments to precise economic sectors, making room for the private sector.
The document guarantees competitive neutrality and identifies the sectors from which the state will withdraw, such as water desalination and wind energy projects.
Furthermore, El-Said highlighted that the plan also seeks to benefit youths, who constitute 60 percent of the country's population, to meet labor market needs. She explained that due to the coordination with the Ministry of Education and Technical Education, more graduates of highly demanded specializations had begun to enter the market.
In a related context, the minister underscored that the country put emphasis on social protection schemes, such as the Decent Life initiative and the national project for developing the Egyptian family.