Egypt seeks 4.6% budget deficit, 82.5% debt-to-GDP ratio by 2023 -Maait

Egypt is aiming at decreasing  the budget deficit to 4.6 percent by FY2022-2023, down from 7.8 percent during FY2019-2020, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said in an interview with Oxford Business Group.

The government is also planning to maintain a 2 percent annual primary budget surplus, Maait said. On the debt front, the government is looking to continue reducing debt levels to hit 77.5-82.5 percent of GDP in the next two years.

The government beat its 89 percent debt-to-GDP target in FY2019-2020, bringing it down to 86.1percent .

The government is focusing on widening its tax base and improving tax collection efficiency, as well as encouraging informal businesses to go legit and join the formal economy as a key part of its strategy to reach these goals, the minister said.

The strategy also includes “streamlining and reprioritising expenditure with a focus on productive spending” and pushing ahead with subsidy reforms. These economic structural reforms will give the government more room to spend on shoring up social security nets and investing in human capital, Maait said