Egypt’s wholesale and retail trade sector has contributed 13.6% to the country’s GDP during fiscal year (FY) 2019/20, according to Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said.
She added that industry contributed 11.7%, agriculture contributed 11.3%, real estate activities contributed 10.3%, construction and construction contributed 4.9%, and transportation and storage contributed 4.6%.
The minister also said that the Egyptian economy has managed to resiliently take on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis due to its structural diversity.
El-Said noted that the results of the economic and social reform programme, initiated by the Egyptian government in 2016, have positively affected the local economy’s response to the crisis. The reform programme saw an improvement in all indicators of economic performance before the Coronavirus crisis.
She said that the country saw its economic growth rate reach 5.6% during the period from July to December 2019/20, and its unemployment rate decrease to about 8% during the period from October to December 2019/20.
Meanwhile, average inflation rate reached 5% during the period from July to March 2019/20, and foreign exchange reserves rose to cover 8.5 months of imports during March 2020.
El-Said also indicated that the non-oil trade balance deficit decreased by 24% during January to March 2019/20. This came in addition to a 19% increase in net foreign direct investment (FDI) during July to December 2020.
There was also a 13% increase in remittances from Egyptians working abroad during the period of July to December 2019/20, and an 8.2% decrease in the deficit relative output compared to FY 2018/19.
El-Said highlighted the 373 pre-emptive measures that have been in place since 24 February to confront the pandemic, with the participation of 70 responsible parties. These pre-emptive measures have particularly targeted those sectors most exposed to risks.
“Among the measures taken was the allocation of EGP 100bn to finance the comprehensive plan to confront the pandemic, tax exemptions, and the provision of liquidity, among other incentives,” El-Said said, “These came in addition to increasing the Ministry of Health’s budget by 100%, and launching the online application, “Egypt Health”, to provide information related to the pandemic.”