Egypt targets GDP growth of 6% in FY2018-19: minister

The Egyptian government is targeting economic growth in a range of 5.7 percent to 6 percent this year, Egypt’s Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said at a conference on Tuesday.

Egypt’s gross domestic product grew by 5.3 percent in the 2017-18 financial year ended on June 30, the highest rate in 10 years, compared with a 4.2 percent a year earlier, Maait added.

Egypt’s economy has struggled since a 2011 uprising drove tourists and foreign investors away, two main sources of hard currency.

But the country has been showing signs of recovery in recent months amid tough reforms including cuts to energy subsidies implemented by the government as part of a $12 billion IMF loan agreement aimed at luring back foreign investments.

Analysts say the tough reforms, coupled with better security, have helped turn the economy around.

In his speech to parliament last July, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said his government was looking for growth of up to 8 percent in financial year 2021-22.

Tourism, Suez Canal revenues and remittances from Egyptians working abroad have risen over the past period, boosting the economy of the most populous country in the Arab world.

Remittances surged to 21.1 percent to $26.5 billion in the 2017-2018 financial year, according to central bank figures released on August 30.

Tourism revenues jumped 77 percent in the first half of 2018 to around $4.8 billion compared with the same period last year, a government official told Reuters last week. The number of tourists who visited Egypt in that time jumped 41 percent to around 5 million tourists, added the official who asked to remain anonymous because they are not authorised to speak to the media.

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