News Column

Mega projects may shore up Egypt's ailing economy

September 4, 2014



(Report part of a file prepared by the Federation of Arab News Agencies (FANA)

CAIRO, Sept 3 (KUNA) -- Egyptians hope the national economy will witness recovery in the coming few years amid experts' forecast that planned mega projects will boost such positive outlook The World Bank forecast a 2.7 percent economic growth during remaining months of the current year, as compared to 2.3 percent last year.

Such an outlook comes amid plans for new mega projects aimed at shoring up the ailing economy, namely the new Suez Canal venture, expected to secure USD 100 billion worth of proceeds and create one million jobs in seven years.

The Chairman and Managing Director of Suez Canal Authority, Admiral Mohab Mohamed Hussein Mameesh, said the major project would boost national income due to forecast substantial increase of fees-levied navigation.

According to a fresh WB's report, six Arab states, including Egypt, "are qualified" to post rapid economic development, however such an upbeat prospect largely hinges on economic policies that should be adopted by governments of these countries.

As remedies, the WB recommends speedy economic reforms to pave way for the private sector to flourish and provide new work opportunities.

With respect of combating corruption, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab pledged to fight administrative corruption, bolster integrity and protect public funds, also vowing to implement the relevant international conventions.

Meanwhile, Egypt's Consumer Price Index rose, in June, 25.3 percent, posting 122.9 points, in contrast to 98.1 points in April.

The government had also vowed to stem necessities' prices by tightening markets' control. Also in this respect, official figures put inflation rate at 3.3 percent in June. The rise was attributed to the government decision to increase prices of electricity and fuel.

At the monetary level, the powerful currency, the US dollar, has posted no drastic leaps vis a vis the national currency, remaining at 7.15 pounds per one USD. The governor of the central bank, Hisham Hafez, has pledged to clamp down on the green back's pricing in the black market and affirmed that the bank has been injecting substantial liquidity of the hard currency into the national banking sector.

However, he said that the USD deposits dropped 22-30 percent, signaling wide-spread shifting to the national currency.

The Egyptian bourse gained, in August, 22.8 billion pounds, bringing overall market capital to 523.88 billion, compared to 501.05 billion in July.

Being whipped by serious domestic political crises, the Egyptian economy had witnessed setbacks since 2011, where unemployed swelled by 13.3 percent. (end) rk

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Source: Kuwait News Agency


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