Egypt’s Sisi says reforms put economy ‘on right track’

 

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said on Thursday that the ongoing economic reforms put his country’s economy on the right track and gained world confidence in the Egyptian economy.

Sisi’s remarks came during his opening speech at the ninth international conference on financial inclusion held at Egypt’s Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh.

“The results of the earnest reform policies adopted by Egypt are reflected by the world’s increasing confidence that we are moving steadily on the right track,” the Egyptian president said.

Sisi said that Egypt’s hosting the international conference reflects the world’s growing confidence in Egyptian economy, stressing that Egypt is fighting terrorism with pride and has achieved progress.

Egypt has been suffering economic recession due to political instability and relevant security issues following two uprisings that toppled two heads of state since 2011. The turmoil led to a decline in the country’s foreign currency reserves, foreign investments and tourism revenues.

The country started last year a strict three-year economic reform program including full currency floating to tackle dollar shortage, in addition to austerity measures, fuel subsidy cuts and tax increases.

Egypt’s reform program is encouraged by a 12-billion-U.S. dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund, a third of which has already been delivered to Egypt in two tranches in November 2016 and July 2017.

Sisi said that “the crucial economic decisions” started to bear fruits, illustrating that the country’s foreign currency reserves have gradually exceeded 36 billion dollars following a sharp decline over the past few years.

“On the other hand, we achieved a year-on-year growth of 4.9 percent in the fourth quarter of the 2016/17 fiscal year compared to 4.1 percent last year,” Sisi added.

Egypt’s fiscal year starts in early July and ends in late June.

The Egyptian president also witnessed the signing of the Financial Inclusion in the Arab Region Initiative (FIAR) that took place on the sidelines of the event.

The two-day event is organized by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), attracting representatives from more than 90 states and 119 international institutions, according to official MENA news agency.

With partners including central banks and other financial regulatory institutions in developing countries, the AFI held its first financial inclusion conference in Kenya in 2009 and the annual conferences have later come to Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago, Mozambique and Fiji.



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