Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt Tarek Amer during the ninth Global Policy Forum - File Photo
CAIRO – 14 September 2017: The target of the latest economic reform measures is achieving a comprehensive and sustainable development so that the reforms could reach all society segments, the Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer said Thursday.
At the ninth Global Policy Forum on financial inclusion that kicked off in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh today, Amer said that the devaluation of the Egyptian pound in November last year has given Egyptian industries a competitive edge and has reflected positively on the macroeconomic front.
Amer highlighted that the participation of the Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in the forum sends a clear message about the country’s orientation, support and belief in the importance of financial inclusion for all society segments in order to achieve economic and social stability.
He said that Egypt has returned to the global market through issuing Euro bonds, worth $7 billion, and higher foreign investments in government securities that reached $10.3 billion in 2017, compared to $1.1 billion in the previous year.
Amer noted that Egypt’s business performance indicator has risen as a result of the issuance of a number of laws, including the New Investment Law and the Industrial Permit Act.
The governor also referred to the role of the banking sector, which has made great changes in its methodology through developing new and different financial methods instead of the traditional ones.
Meanwhile, in his address to the conference, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said that Egypt has seen some of the results of the economic reform program. He pointed out that growth rate has reached 4.2 percent in the fiscal year of 2016/2017, while unemployment rate recorded 11.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016.
There is also a notable progress in the confidence of international investors and institutions in the reform program, that caused international reserves to increase to $36 billion, he added.
The prime minister showcased the accomplishments of the National Council for Payments, including the gradual transformation to a non-monetary economy, targeting subsidies at those who deserve it, automating services, achieving financial inclusion and making services available at reasonable costs.
“One of the government’s main priorities is achieving social justice and sustainable economic growth,” Ismail said, adding that a social safety net has been planned in June 2017 with a total cost of LE 85 billion.
Amer praised the role of the Ministry of Planning in alleviating the suffering of the poor through Takaful and Karama cash transfers programs, whose beneficiaries reached 1.75 million families in two years, 92 percent of which are women.
“The government targets covering 20 percent of the country’s poorest with financial support and services, where LE 15 billion were allocated for different financial programs in the fiscal year of 2017/2018,”Amer said.