President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi held a meeting Saturday with Finance Minister Amr el-Garhy and his deputies Ahmed Kochouk and Ahmed Maeet to review economic performance in fiscal year 2017/18.
Presidency’s spokesman Bassam Rady said that the meeting discussed financial targets, especially curbing budget deficit to 9.5-9.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), compared to 10.9 percent in the last fiscal year.
It also touched on the target of achieving primary budget surplus and cutting public debt to 97 percent of GDP.
Garhy confirmed the improvement in financial performance, saying that government investments continued to grow in the first half of the fiscal year, which reflects the government’s efforts to meet citizens’ needs and developing infrastructure in all governorates.
The minister also reviewed efforts that are being taken on all fronts to encourage investment and economy, referring to the significant improvement in trade deficit and the rise in foreign reserves.
The meeting further discussed the initial features of the new budget for fiscal year 2018/19, with Garhy saying that the government aims to achieve a primary budget surplus of two percent and a budget deficit of 8.5 percent.
They also mulled the government’s plan concerning the Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) in the coming two years. The program aims to offer partial stakes in some state-owned companies on the Stock Exchange.
President Sisi stressed on the importance of committing to the plan of IPOs and the need for all entities to cooperate to make this program a success as it will help attract new investments and provide additional financing to the companies.
He also stressed on the importance of continuing economic reform efforts, saying that the budget for the new fiscal year should consider increasing expenditure on infrastructure, education and health sectors.