By Dr Ibrahim Al-Ankele
CAIRO: Egypt has witnessed throughout its history many challenges and conflicts that contributed to one degree or another in impeding the process of development and was keen to overcome them in order to keep pace with regional and international changes, investing in this its uniqueness in the most distinguished geographical location in the world, which played a vital role in the development process, and perhaps what Egypt went through.
From 2011 until now, the best evidence for this is that after many economic problems have accumulated in Egypt, and with the emergence of a new vision to resolve these problems, beginning in 2013, economic reform programs whose efforts differ from their predecessors, as they focused on addressing the origins of problems and threats as well as working on Realizing the future with all its tools.
Under President Sisi, Egypt succeeded, with the will and sacrifices of its great people, for the first time in its history, in converting spending from consumer spending in the first place to productive spending in favor of building and developing the entire state’s infrastructure “roads and bridges – reclamation and cultivation of hundreds of thousands of acres – providing housing for the poor and middle-income – establishing A new administrative capital – developing factories – developing slums “, and continuing to open mega productive projects in various governorates, and continuing transformation programs to e-government, indicating the existence of a well-thought-out scientific plan to establish a modern state with all standards to face internal and external challenges.
In order to promote the national economy and improve the living conditions of citizens, Egypt implemented an economic reform program, starting in 2017, aimed at achieving social justice and directing support to those who deserve it from the most needy groups. The International Monetary Fund reports indicated that the economic conditions in Egypt have improved significantly since the start of the reform program. Which helped liberalize the exchange rate, accelerate growth rates, reduce the external and financial deficit and increase the monetary reserve, in return for a decrease in unemployment rates of 8.3 percent and inflation, which is expected to reach its lowest levels at the end of the fiscal year 2020/2021 compared to the rates of 2011, and to be guided by the relevant international institutions.
Despite the positive indicators reflected in the implementation of the economic reform program, however, in the short term, some of the burdens arising from the state’s decisions to raise subsidies appeared, but they did not affect the stability of the situation at home in light of the people’s confidence resulting from the state’s decisions to raise subsidies, but it did not affect the stability.
The situation at home in light of the Egyptian people’s confidence in the government’s policies, which is aware that it is an essential element in the economic reform process recommended by the World Bank, and is implemented in cooperation with the IMF. For example, but not limited to, the high prices of means Transportation in Egypt, however, is still considered among the cheapest countries in the world ($ 0.5 for a metro ticket, for example), despite the high operating costs.
Undoubtedly, the outbreak of the new Corona pandemic has affected the economies of the whole world. However, despite the pressures exerted on all national projects on state resources, international economic institutions have unanimously agreed on the success of Egypt – within a limited number of countries in the world – in achieving A positive growth rate during the crisis, and the challenge facing the government is how to balance the continuation of the development process and absorb the challenges that emerged against the background of that crisis.
Where the Egyptian government has allocated large sums of money from the general budget to develop the health and education sectors, in addition to financial subsidies to help daily workers and families most affected by the Coronavirus crisis, and a report by Moody’s for the Credit Rating issued in September 2020 praised the creditworthiness indicators of Egypt, granting the Egyptian economy “B2” assessment with a stable outlook, indicating that raising the rating is related to the country’s ability to withstand debt, reduce overall financing needs, and maintain high levels of foreign exchange reserves.
Golden Man Sachs confirmed the ability of the Egyptian economy to withstand the economic repercussions of the Coronavirus. Accordingly, about “50 percent” of the indirect foreign investments (about $ 10 billion) that came out with the beginning of the Corona crisis, expressing positive expectations until the end of this year regarding inflation rates, the strength of the pound, as well as the realization of some tourism flows despite the Corona crisis.
Wise Air, which is the third largest low-cost airline in Europe, announced the re-operation of “3” weekly flights between Milan and Alexandria. The Royal Dutch Airlines has made its flights to Cairo “after a three-year hiatus”, as well as the return of flights from Russia and Kazakhstan to Egypt, with the government applying precautionary measures agreed upon to receive tourists.
During previous years, the Egyptian government focused on addressing deficiencies in the Egyptian economic indicators, as well as the social problems resulting from it, as it succeeded in achieving a decline in the annual inflation rate for the total of the republic over the month of August 2020 to become “3.4 percent” compared to “4.6 percent” in July 2020, and about 6.7 percent for the same month last year, against the backdrop of the continued decline in the prices of the food and drink group, grains and other food products.
The government is also trying, for the first time in the history of Egypt, to provide an accurate digital registration of real estate and agricultural lands, in a way that helps solve the problem of erosion of agricultural lands and alleviates the facilities crisis that resulted from the exploitation of the events of the 2011 revolution in the random expansion of construction on agricultural land. In another context, the Egyptian state announced its targeting in the near future to increase government investments in the current fiscal year 2020/2021 by about 55 percent over the previous fiscal year, bringing their total to about LE 280 billion.