Egypt’s external debt hits $81 billion: finance minister

Egypt’s external debt has reached $81 billion, the country’s finance minister said in a television interview on Wednesday.

The Egyptian government has developed a new strategy concerning lowering the debt levels for the upcoming financial year, Amr el-Garhy said.

Egypt’s foreign debt rose to $79 billion in the 2016-17 fiscal year which ended in June, up 42 percent from 2015-16, the central bank announced in late September, stressing that “foreign debt is within the safe amounts as per international standards.”

The cash-strapped country has been borrowing from abroad to fund its budget deficit and boost its balance of foreign reserves after a years-long dollar shortage sapped its ability to import and slowed economic activity.