Shoukry: Egyptian economy recovered thanks to bold reforms undertaken by government
Friday، 23 March 2018 - 11:30 AM
At the beginning of his current visit to the Indian capital New Delhi, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry participated on March 22nd in the Indian-Egyptian Business Forum. The Forum is organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with the Egyptian Commercial Office in New Delhi. It was attended by a large number of businessmen and heads of corporation investing in Egypt or who wish to. The Foreign Minister surveyed various aspects of the economic reform program and investment opportunities in Egypt.
Official MFA Spokesperson Counselor Ahmed Abu Zeid stated that FM Shoukry began his address by pointing to India as a civilized model to be followed in terms of coexistence between various cultures. This applies to Egypt given its ancient civilization and history, as well as, the important role it plays in the world today. The Foreign Minister emphasized the historical relations between Egypt and India, and asserted the keenness to develop them in all fields to achieve development and prosperity for the peoples of both nations.
Abu Zeid added that FM Shoukry noted the opportunity to extend and diversify economic cooperation between the two countries and create a large investment and commercial base relying on the relative advantages enjoyed by both countries. Shoukry asserted that the Egyptian economy has recovered in the wake of the events the country went through in the past years thanks to bold reforms and economic policies undertaken by the Egyptian government to face the main challenges suffered by the Egyptian economy. The economic reform program is based on determinants of increasing Gross Domestic Product (GDP), creating jobs, increasing exports, and organizing the business environment, in addition to regaining economic balance and deepening structural reforms while taking into consideration the social dimension of the reform process.
The Official MFA Spokesperson explained that FM Shoukry emphasized the support of international financial and economic institutions for the economic reform program in Egypt, at the head of which is the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This is especially true amidst strong indicators that the Egyptian economy is regaining its health manifested by an increase in GDP, succeeding in transforming toward a floating or free exchange rate, improving the level of providing energy from various resources, starting to regain financial balance, and an increasing trust in the business environment in Egypt.
With regards to the current indicators of the Egyptian economy, FM Shoukry revealed that GDP increased by 4.2% in the fiscal year 2016/2017 compared to 3.8% in 2015/2016. The hard currency reserve has, also, increased at the Central Bank to USD 36.7 billion at the end of October 2017 compared to USD 12.1 billion at the end of June 2016. In addition, foreign direct investment increased to USD 7.9 billion during the fiscal year 2016/2017, and is expected to reach USD 10 billion by the end of 2017/2018. Shoukry, also, surveyed the major economic successes in the natural gas sector noting the beginning of production at the Zohr field and that Egypt seeks to achieve natural gas self-sufficiency by the end of 2018. The Foreign Minister, also, surveyed investment opportunities awarded by national mega projects; such as, the new administrative capital project and the Suez Canal development axis.
The MFA Spokesperson noted that FM Shoukry explained a number of measures also undertaken by the government to improve the business environment in Egypt. Those include legislating a unified investment law, establishing new centers to serve investors in Governorates, and formulating a map of industrial investment opportunities across the republic, in addition to developing new tax regulations for medium and small enterprises.
At the end of his address, FM Shoukry asserted Egypt's keenness to reinforce bilateral cooperation with India in all fields. He surveyed commercial and investment figures between the two countries and the prospects of developing economic cooperation especially in the framework of the economic zone at the Suez Canal development axis. The Foreign Minister noted the opportunities Egypt provides given that it is India gateway to Africa.
The meeting witnessed an open discussion between the Foreign Minister on one hand and heads of corporations and representatives of the Indian private sector on the other. Throughout the discussion, FM Shoukry answered inquiries posed by Indian investors, whether regarding the investment climate or the political situation in Egypt and the region in general.