Egypt’s trade deficit narrowed by 11% in the first nine months (9M) of fiscal year (FY) 2017/2018 to EGP 26.8bn in comparison to EGP 30bn in the same period of last FY, according to Planning Minister Hala Al-Saeed during Thursday’s cabinet meeting.
Al-Saeed attributed that improvement in the trade deficit to the 3% decline in non-oil imports from EGP 45.8bn to EGP 44.4bn. Meanwhile, non-oil exports for the nine-month period rose 12% y-o-y to reach EGP 17.5bn, up from EGP 15.6bn in the same period of last FY.
“The GDP growth rate reached 5.4%, the highest in seven years, measured by consumption, investment, and net foreign trade,” the minister noted, adding, “during the current year, 65% of the growth rate is from net foreign trade and investment and 40% from consumption, which is a real leap forward as all areas have achieved positive growth rates.”
Al-Saeed pointed out that the inflation rate was lowered to reached 12.9% in the mentioned period of the current FY.
She noted that indicators showed that the high rate of GDP growth led to an increase in employment rates, as the unemployment rate fell to 10.6% compared to 12% last FY. In 9M FY 2017/2018, more than 446,000 job opportunities were provided, which led to a qualitative shift in employment opportunities in various sectors such as agriculture and construction.
For his part, Mohammed Al-Assar, minister of military production, said that total revenues of his ministry’s companies amounted to EGP 4.2bn in 2014/2015 and doubled in 2016/2017 to reach EGP 8.9bn.
Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Waly made a presentation on the measures taken in cooperation with civil society organisations to distribute food products to the poor through a geographical survey to ensure full coverage of these areas at the governorate level.
Waly noted that 3.87m food cartons were distributed in all governorates of the republic, with a total of 60,500 tonnes in addition to 1.6m food cartons produced by the Ministry of Supply, distributed from Halayeb and Shalateen to Matrouh.