Economic Harvest - 2018
Sunday، 06 January 2019 12:48 PM
The Year 2018 witnessed several challenges on the economic level, but the Egyptian economy succeeded to achieve the highest growth rate in ten years reaching nearly 5.3 percent during the financial year 2017-2018.
Also in the same year, Egypt witnessed inauguration of many developmental projects in different Egyptian governorates, the matter which contributed significantly in enhancing efficiency of infrastructure.
In 2018, Egypt manages to stop receiving LNG imports and achieve natural gas self-sufficiency thanks to increase of production by Zohr gas field up to 2 billion cubic meters of gas per day.
Many international organizations, topped by the World Bank Group and leading financial institutions, issued appreciation certificates in favor of the Egyptian economy, which is attributed to the economic reforms program launched by the Egyptians people and government under leadership of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.
Government of PM Eng. Mostafa Madbouli
Since it assumed office on June 14, 2018, the government of Prime Minister Eng. Mostafa Madbouli focused on building the Egyptian citizen through paying more attention to concentration on the education, health and culture sectors.
The government adopts an ambitious program based on several economic axes including economic indicators and international certificates of appreciation.
Economic indicators and international certificates
First: Economic indicators
- A report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said Egypt remains the number one investment attraction in Africa during the first half of 2018 with an increase by 24% in foreign direct investments, compared with the same period in 2017.
- Egypt ranked no 94 in the 2018 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) among 140 world countries as Egypt hit 63.4 points at a 0.4 point up in comparison with the previous years. As for market size, Egypt occupied the 24th position among 140 states in the GCI report.
Egypt ranked no 102 with regard to the GCI institutions pillar at 48.1 points, no 100 for ICT adoption at 40.6 points, no 99 for skills at 52.8 points, no 130 for labor market at 46.4 points and no 56 for infrastructure at 70 points.
- Egypt's balance of payments has reached an overall surplus of USD 12.8 billion during the fiscal year 2017-2018.
- The BOP achieved an overall surplus of US$ 12.8 billion and a retreat in the current account deficit by 58.6 percent during the FY 2017/2018.
- Remittances from Egyptians abroad increased by 21% year-on-year to record US$ 26.4 billion.
- Foreign investments in Securities Portfolio registered net inflows of USD 12.1 billion, despite emerging markets witnessed exit of foreign investors.
- President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim lauded Egypt’s economic and social reform program as well as its success in investing in human capital.
- EFG-Hermes said that international reserve and inflation stability give assurance future vision for the Egyptian economy in light of dealing with unstable and volatile international markets.
- There are signs that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi started to lead Egypt to balanced economic path, despite tough economic decisions taken in the recent period, The Economist said.
The year 2018 witnessed inauguration of many national projects which contributed in supporting the State's infrastructure, improving citizens' standards of living and concentrating on human building according to Egypt's sustainable development vision 2030.
Sewage and water projects
The State paid due attention to the projects of drinking water, sewage, water desalination and purification with the aim of providing a better living environment for citizens.
The State witnessed establishment of more than 30 drinking water stations, 24 sewage stations out of a total of 130 ones with costs reaching EGP 18 billion. The drinking water and sewage grids covered 400 villages nationwide.
Projects of Roads
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi promised to implement a huge roads network with the purpose of linking the new cities and vital regions in all Egyptian governorates. A number of major roads and bridges were implemented during 2018 including:
- Completion of the 400 km Regional Ring Road which connects seven governorates; Ismailia, Suez, Sharkeya, Qaliobya, Monofya, Giza, Fayom with the Cairo governorate.
- 30 June Axis, which is 95 kilometers in length and 80 meters in width, starting from South Port Said through the International Port Said-Damietta Road and ending at Cairo-Ismailia Road.
- Khatatba Axis, which is 5.5 kilometers in length and 42 meters in width.
During 2018, Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities completed implementation of a number of mega construction projects topped by the social housing projects for low-income people, Dar Misr housing project, fourth generation cities (New Alamein City, El-Galala City), New Administrative Capital and development of unsafe slums.
President Sisi ordered the government to put the file of "building Egyptian man' on top of its priorities through implementation of several service and developmental projects in the fields of health, education, governmental service automation, digital skills development, human cadres building, innovation support and entrepreneurship encouragement.
Health Service Improvement Project
- Launching the "100 million healthy lives" campaign to eradicate hepatitis C and stymie the growth of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
- Nearly 30 thousand surgeries were made within the framework of the project of ending patients' waiting lists.
- Ten typical hospitals in Cairo and other governorates have been equipped.
- Establishment of the Health Care Authority, Control & Quality Authority to start application of the comprehensive health insurance system.
New Education System
Ministry of Education and Technical Education launched a new system with the aim of developing the education system in Egypt.
The new system is based on developing the primary education and achieving integration between technology and education. The ministry applied the open-book exam system in order to evaluate the level of students' understanding of materials.
Also, the Egyptian Knowledge Bank (EKB) was established as an online library archive and resource that provides access to learning resources and tools for educators, researchers, students, and the general public of Egypt.
Agriculture Development Projects
- Inauguration of the first phase of the agricultural project at Mohamed Naguib military base in al-Hammam region.
- Inauguration of the National Greenhouses Project in the 10th of Ramadan city.
Industry Development Projects
- Inauguration of the cement and granite complex in Beni Suef (the largest project in Middle East).
- Inauguration of the world's largest wind farm at Gabal El-Zeit.
Harvest of Economic Sectors in 2018
Communications and Information Technology
- The CIT sector's contribution in GDP reached 3.1%.
- Through the CIT sector, the State aimed at transferring to the digital economy and setting integrated databases where this will contribute in improving the level of services to citizens, enhancing operating efficiency and combating financial and administrative corruption.
- The ministry prepared a legislative system including issuance of the information technology crime combating law, preparation of the personal data protection draft law and e-trading guarantees draft law.
- The ministry launched an initiative for establishment of an academy for people with special needs in order to provide technological training on the most advanced techniques for the disabled and people with special needs thus facilitating their living conditions.
- The Egyptian Supreme Cybersecurity Council (ESCC), presided by the country's ministry of communication, has officially launched its 2017-2021 national cybersecurity strategy. The aim of the strategy is to create a safe and secure environment for integrated electronic services in various sectors vital to Egypt's economic development. The main cyber threats and challenges that Egypt wants to face via this strategy are the threats of intrusion and sabotage of IT infrastructures, cyberterrorism and cyberwar, threats on the digital identity and theft of private data.
- The total electrical capacity added to the national electricity grid reached 8700 megawatts while the value of under-implementation projects to enhance efficiency of the electricity distribution grid reached EGP 22.5 billion.
- USD 1.4 billion grants and investments to digging 41 fields through 12 agreements.
- USD 10 billion total investments for oil and gas exploration and development of fields.
- Egypt's natural gas output has risen to 6.6 billion cubic feet per day (self-sufficiency).
- Natural gas pipelines extended to 72 cities and regions within the framework of national project to extend natural gas to all Egyptian governorates.
- Egypt's tourism revenues increased by USD 5.4 billion in 2018 as compared to 2017 to record USD 9.8 billion.
- About 316 defence manufacturers from 41 countries participated in the first International Exhibition of Defense and Military Industries (EDEX- 2018).
- 5000 youth from 160 countries participated in the World Youth Forum (WYF), which was hosted by Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh city.
- The fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP14) hosted by Sharm El-Sheikh with the participation of 196 countries.
- Egypt hosted the Africa 2018 Forum with the participation of a large number of representatives of African countries, regional and international institutions.
- The Egyptian Banking Sector showed the highest growth rate in lending on the level of Arab banking sectors during the first six months of 2018, according to an analytical study by the Union of Arab Banks. It occupied the fourth position in the volume of assets and came Number One on the level of banking sectors in Arab non-petroleum countries.
- US dollar exchange rate witnessed remarkable stability during 2018 ranging between EGP 17.6 and EGP 17.97. The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said that the US dollar exchange rate against the Egyptian pound has increased by 1% since beginning of 2018 from EGP 17.79 and EGP 17.97.
- Banks' deposits marked an increase of LE 527 billion in fiscal year 2017/2018, recording about LE 3.569 trillion ($199.18 billion) by the end of June 2018, compared to LE 3.042 trillion in June 2017, according to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).
- The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced the end of the mechanism for transferring foreign investor funds. The decision was welcomed by a number of bank officials and analysts as it contributes in increasing foreign currency with the Egyptian Banking Sector.
Economic conferences hosted by Egypt
- 22nd round of the Cairo International Exhibition and Conference on Telecommunication and Information Technology (ICT 2018).
- Intra-African Trade Fair 2018.
- Mediterranean Offshore Conference and Exhibition (MOC 2018).
- Africa Investment Forum 2018.
Economic Laws and Reports
Egypt 2018 Voluntary National Review
In July 2018, Egypt presented its Voluntary National Review (VNR) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation during the 2018 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
Egypt’s VNR report clearly indicates that Egypt is on the right track towards achieving sustainable development, and has considerable potential. Unleashing this potential requires dealing with challenges pertaining to data, financing, governance and high population growth rate. In awareness of these challenges, the Government of Egypt has deployed the efforts and strategy to address them.
Economic Laws in 2018
- President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi endorsed Law No. 181/2018 on issuance of the Consumer Protection Law, after being approved by the Parliament.
- President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi issued a decree on the new customs tariffs and establishment of a supreme council for customs tariffs.
- President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ratified a new law No. 177 of 2018 to establish a new sovereign fund named “Egypt Fund”, after being approved by the Parliament.
- President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued Law No. 158 of 2018 amending certain provisions of the Income Tax Law promulgated by Law No. 91 of 2005, after being approved by the Parliament.
- President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ratified the Law No. 87 of 2018 on regulating the land transport service for passengers using information technology, after being approved by the Parliament.