Egypt’s PM: Gov't focuses on restoring economy to rates prior to COVID pandemic

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Thu, 25 Feb 2021 - 10:32 GMT

CAIRO – 25 February 2021: Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli asserted that the government's current focus is to restore the economy to rates prior to the coronavirus pandemic and implement development plans according to outlined priorities, highlighting the mega projects of sustainable infrastructure, railways, roads, sanitary drainage, potable water as well as establishing new cities such as the New Administrative Capital, New Alamein and others in addition to setting up economic and logistic zones.

Madbouli made these remarks during his participation in an event organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo under the title of "Egypt in 2021 and What's After".

Despite the relative setback in economic indicators in a number of countries due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the recent economic reforms introduced by Egypt has greatly contributed to achieving flexibility and enabled the country to mitigate the negative impact of such a great challenge, Madbouli said.

Egypt's economy is among the fewest in the region which achieved positive growth rates amid the pandemic, the premier said, noting that the Egyptian growth rate reached 6% before the virus outbreak.

The premier welcomed participants and members of the American chamber of commerce, praising the historical and distinguished partnership with the AmCham in Cairo and its role in enhancing relations between Egypt and the US.

Madbouli reviewed the measures that were outlined by the government to deal with the pandemic, noting that the state has placed the citizens' health on top of its priorities in addition to striking a balance between the public's health and avoiding a total closure to maintain the economic status.

He said around LE 100 billion has been channelled by the state to alleviate the impact of the pandemic and adopt a flexible banking system, adding that the Central Bank of Egypt has pumped LE 50 billion to finance the real estate initiatives for the middle class people, and LE 20 billion were allocated to back the Egyptian Stock Exchange along with postponing credit dues for all customers whether individuals or companies

On the health sector, Madbouli noted that a notable progress has been clear in the health system in Egypt over the past four years, highlighting the presidential initiative of "100 million healthy lives" which handled the early detection of Hepatitis C and the free treatment offered to citizens along with launching the "universal health insurance system". He noted that such efforts and the upgrading of the medical infrastructure have been key elements in confronting the spread of coronavirus.

The government has also taken a package of measures to secure basic and strategic commodities for several months, in addition to securing medical supplies during the pandemic, the premier said.

He also underlined the financial aid packages presented to the tourism and civil aviation sectors to help them stand the economic losses resulting from the lockdowns caused by the coronavirus.

 

The government also reduced power and gas prices for the industrial sector and allocated EGP 10 billion to pay dues of suppliers and contractors of the sector, he said, adding that EGP 3 billion were paid to support exportation programs.

The state has also extended direct financial aid to citizens in the unofficial sector and irregular workers as an extraordinary monthly assistance of EGP 1,500 was disbursed to each person in three installments, Madbouli said.

More than 1.6 million irregular workers have benefited from such aid that was distributed via mail offices nationwide, the premier noted. Moreover, the UN-funded program of Takaful and Karama has expanded to include additional 142,000 families of the most needy categories, he said.

All aforementioned measures have been a great asset to keep solid the Egyptian economy in face of the coronavirus impact, he said, noting that the growth rate reached 3.6 percent despite the exceptional circumstances of 2020.

 

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