FILE - Planning Minister Hala el-Saeed
CAIRO – 19 February 2020: "The Egyptian economy is still maintaining stable growth rates of 5.6 percent during the second quarter and first half (H1) of this fiscal year, despite the continued slowdown in global growth," Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala el-Saeed said Wednesday.
Saeed added in a statement that Egypt's high rate of economic growth during the second quarter and first half of the fiscal year 2019-2020 increased to 5.6 percent compared to the same period in previous years.
The minister clarified that this growth was driven by the growth of the sectors of oil refining, telecommunications, construction and building, with the continued growth of the tourism sector.
Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’it said earlier that Egypt targets a growth rate of 6.4 percent during the fiscal year 2020/2021.
Saeed indicated that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reduced its forecasts for the global growth rate for 2020 for the third time from 3.6 percent in April 2019 to 3.3 percent in January 2020. "Moreover, a number of organizations expect a decrease in the global growth rate by 0.3 percent this year due to the spread Corona Virus", she noted.
On December 31, the first case of coronavirus was reported in Wuhan, China. In January, the virus transmitted to Thailand. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced the outbreak of the virus after more than 40 cases were reported positive and one person died.
The number of confirmed cases worldwide reached 75,286 and 2,010 deaths worldwide.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found in both animals and humans. Some infect people and are known to cause illness ranging from common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), according to World Health Organization (WHO).
"A novel coronavirus (CoV) is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. The new, or “novel” coronavirus, now called 2019-nCoV, had not been previously detected before the outbreak was reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019," it clarified.