Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait Discusses Future of Egyptian Economy at AUC
The Egyptian economy reached a growth rate of 5.6% in the last year, making it one of the top growth performers amongst emerging markets in the region, said Egypt's Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait as part of his talk at AUC last week on the positive outcomes of the government’s economic reform program over the past few years. Held at AUC’s New Cairo Campus, the talk was attended by AUC’s Board of Trustees and experts in the fields of economy, business and education.
“The aim was to achieve private-led, sustainable and inclusive growth, job creation, fiscal discipline and social justice,” said Maait. “Consequently, as a result of the rigorous implementation of reforms, the Egyptian economy has shown significant signs of improvements.”
Maait pointed out that economic development can be largely attributed to the growth of the private sector and across a diverse range of fields. He also identified different areas in the economy that still require work.
The government has already started introducing laws that aim to create an environment that would foster private sector participation in the economy, such as industrial licensing and procurement laws, he said.
“We have introduced Takaful and Karama. We increased food subsidies, and every year, we have increased pension payments and salaries,” he said. “And while all of that still isn’t good enough, I believe it is most important we invest in human capital development, health, education and public utilities.”
Looking at the positive indicators ahead, Maait noted, “Improved growth in the upcoming period is expected to increase on the back of increased private consumption and private investments. The realized growth has been well-diversified across all sectors of the economy, including manufacturing, tourism, construction, trade and oil and gas — generating new job opportunities, which has driven unemployment downward to reach 7.5% in June 2019, down from 12% in 2016/2017.”
After highlighting the increased investment in the country’s infrastructure, the government’s efforts at fiscal consolidation and different strategies aimed at reducing debt, Maait noted that the impacts of these reforms on middle and lower income populations in Egypt has not gone unnoticed.
Following his talk, the Minister sat with President Ricciardone for a Q&A session, during which he discussed the ministry’s plans to further appreciate the Egyptian pound and the importance of investing in education and health care the most in the upcoming years. “We appreciate the vision Minister of Finance Mohammed Maait shared with us,” Ricciardone said. “We remain keen to take part in Egypt’s bold plans for development and economic growth.”
“As we step into AUC’s second century, we not only celebrate our past achievements, but we look forward to the next 100 years, reaffirming our commitment to serving Egypt,” he added. “AUC continues to graduate students who are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to advance the development and economic prosperity of their country.”