The Minister of Planning and Economic Development participates in The 12th Arab-Austrian Economic Forum
25 October 2021
The expected growth rate is up to 5.2% in the current fiscal year: Says Hala El-Said
Dr. Hala Al-Saeed, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, participated - virtually via a recorded speech - in the 12th Arab-Austrian Economic Forum organized by the Austrian Arab Chamber of Commerce, the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Vienna, the Federation of Arab Chambers and the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce.
During her speech, Al-Saeed said that in the past decade, Egypt faced many challenges and was able to deal with them effectively and that Egypt's Vision 2030 was formulated to push Egypt forward during the current decade.
Al-Saeed emphasized that Vision 2030 is the national version of the United Nations sustainable development goals, which are based on the principles of comprehensive sustainable development, balanced regional development, and a participatory approach.
Al-Saeed pointed out that the vision reflects the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental, stressing that there is huge potential for both local and external investors and the private sector to support Egypt in achieving its ambitious vision.
Al-Saeed referred to the first phase of the National Program for Economic and Social Reforms (NPESR) launched by the government in 2016, which is based on Egypt’s Vision 2030. The program was launched with a clear goal of implementing a series of reforms that would lead to macroeconomic stability, inclusion, and growth sustainability.
"These wide-ranging reforms included controlling both fiscal and monetary policies by restructuring some sectors, most notably the energy sector, liberalizing the exchange rate, and improving the investment climate to increase competitiveness and restore investor confidence in the Egyptian economy," El-Said said
Al-Saeed stressed that thanks to the implementation of economic reforms, Egypt was able to face the repercussions of the Coronavirus, as government policies ensured targeted spending to implement the necessary health and social protection programs and maintain financial sustainability.
As a result, Egypt has become one of the very few countries in the world capable of achieving 3.3% growth in 2021, despite the economic repercussions of the Corona pandemic, and our economic growth is expected to rebound strongly to 5.2% in the 2021/22 fiscal year.
Al-Saeed highlighted the government's strategy to confront the repercussions of the virus, which targets the neediest segments of the population.
The government’s strategy to confront the repercussions of the virus included both monetary and financial measures that focus mainly on the sustainability of economic activity and mitigating the effects caused by the Coronavirus on the most affected sectors, in particular the tourism sector.
Al-Saeed explained that the renewed interest in tourist sites in Egypt, along with the growing interest in local and eco-tourism, leads to an increase in job opportunities in this sector.
Al-Saeed referred to the "National Structural Reform Program" (NSRP) that was launched in 2021, which represents the second phase of the economic reform program and focuses on raising the productive capacity and competitiveness of the economy and aims to achieve comprehensive, balanced, and sustainable growth.
The program also aims to change the structure of the economy by increasing the added value of three main sectors: industry, agriculture, and information and communication technology.
The program also targets development in three interconnected markets: the capital market, the trade market, and the labor market, and the program also contains five complementary and supportive pillars represented in enhancing the business environment and the role of the private sector, promoting the labor market and the efficiency of vocational, technical and technological training, improving financial inclusion and facilitating Access to finance, in addition to ensuring public governance, completing the digital transformation process, and investing in human capital development.
Al-Saeed pointed to the role of The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (TSFE) as one of the main mechanisms for strengthening the partnership with the private sector, as the fund is an investment arm, through a partnership with local and international investors, to create investment opportunities in high-growth promising sectors, including industry, especially pharmaceuticals, food products, and agricultural processing.
The fund also established four sub-funds in areas aligned with the state's priorities, namely health services, infrastructure, financial services, digital transformation, tourism, and real estate investment.
Al-Saeed referred to the government's launch of the "Environmental Sustainability Standards Guide" to integrate sustainable and equitable development standards into national plans.
Al-Saeed explained that 15% of the projects of the national investment plan for the fiscal year 2020/2021 were green projects, and the government aims to double this percentage in 2021/2022 and achieve the goal of 50%-60% of green projects by 2024/2025.
These projects focus on tackling climate change and transitioning to a green economy by creating smart transportation systems, such as light rail transport and monorail for cleaner mobility, and creating projects to improve access to water and sanitation, such as modern irrigation systems, drainage canals, and seawater and sewage desalination plants. and lift stations.
In terms of promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency, the government has set up wind turbines, photovoltaic power plants, and solar power plants.
Egypt also launched its first “green bond” worth $750 million and was a leading country in this regard in the MENA region.
Moreover, the government is finalizing the national climate change strategy. It is also drafting the "National Hydrogen Strategy" to encourage the use of blue and green hydrogen as a low-to-zero emission energy source.
The Minister of Planning and Economic Development concluded her speech by emphasizing that Egypt is the largest market in the Middle East and North Africa region and is a major gateway to African and European markets, so there are many opportunities for Austrian investments in Egypt.