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Egypt is only country that achieved growth despite COVID-19

Thursday, 12 03 2020, Category: Economy, Country: Egypt
Hala El-Said, Egypt’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development, on behalf of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, delivered the opening speech of the second edition of the 2020 Economic Summit for Egypt, organized by the Seventh Day Foundation, under the patronage of the Prime Minister.

During her speech, El-Said said that the summit comes as an affirmation and reinforcement of the participatory approach adopted by the government in its efforts to achieve development in various sectors, confirming the state’s keenness to encourage community participation in addressing all issues related to public affairs, especially the economic aspect.

El-Said added that when reviewing the development experience of Egypt in recent years, the view of it must be more comprehensive and familiar with the variables and challenges that shaped the work environment and from which this experience was based, following up that an accurate estimate of the size of achievement is measured by the size of the challenge.

Egypt has witnessed many major political, economic, and social changes and challenges in recent years,specifically since January 2011 and the consequent accumulation of structural imbalances that the Egyptian economy has suffered from for decades, whether in the real sector, in the financial and monetary sector, or the external sector.

El-Said added that all these challenges negatively affected the decline of most macroeconomic indicators from the decline in growth rates to their lowest level in 2010/11 by about 1.8%, which is much lower than the rate of population growth, noting that achieving development requires the sustainability of positive economic growth to exceed the least weak population growth rates, following the increase in the severity of the challenges facing the Egyptian economy in light of the political and economic changes, regional and international events that the Arab region and neighboring countries have witnessed in recent years, and the new outbreak of the corona pandemic and the associated negative health, economic and social effects. There was only an intensification of serious and continuous work, which was based on comprehensive planning and an ambitious vision for the future, for the Egyptian state to formulate a sustainable development strategy: Egypt's Vision 2030.

El-Said explained that the government's implementation of many reforms during the first phase of the national program for economic and social reform since November 2016 has led to the achievement of macro stability and comprehensive growth, which was reflected in the positive indicators that the Egyptian economy witnessed during the fiscal year 2019/20 and before the outbreak of the corona crisis. Economic growth was about 5.6% in the first half of 2020, and about 5% during the third quarter of 2019/20, with an average growth of 5.4% in the first nine months of the year, until the corona crisis emerged and affected the decline in many economic indicators, confirming that despite this relative decline, reform efforts and the diversification of the Egyptian economy have contributed to the Egyptian economy becoming more flexible and able to absorb external economic shocks.

El-Said pointed out to the positive expectations of international institutions regarding the Egyptian economy, which is the only economy in the region that achieved positive economic growth rates in light of the crisis, referring to the results of the Global Economic Outlook report issued by the International Monetary Fund in October 2020, in which it raised its expectations for GDP growth. The total for Egypt rose to 3.5% for this year, compared to its previous forecast of 2% in the report of last June, which makes Egypt among the only three economies in the Middle East and Central Asia to achieve economic growth in 2020, in addition to the report of the Fitch Ratings Agency, which stated that Egypt is in on its way to achieving the highest real GDP growth rate in the Middle East and North Africa region between 2020 and 2024. In this context comes the decrease in the unemployment rate to 7.3% in the third quarter (July-September) of 2020 compared to 9.6% in the previous quarter (April-June) of the year.

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