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Egypt Eyes New Fiscal Stimulus Package

Determined to reassure investors and to restore confidence, Egyptian Finance Minister Ahmed Galal has announced that the Government aims to unveil details of a new fiscal stimulus package shortly.

The Government adopted its first stimulus package in the second half of 2013.

Without providing further information, Finance Minister Galal revealed that the new wave of fiscal measures would boost public investment and would finance the introduction of a public sector minimum wage, without increasing the budget deficit.

The Egyptian Government aims to reduce the budget deficit from 14 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) recorded in June last year, to around 10 percent of GDP by June 2014, and to subsequently 8 percent of GDP within the next two to three years.

To achieve this objective, Finance Minister Galal has already made clear the Government's commitment to boosting tax revenues, to around 25 percent of GDP over the course of the coming years, from 15 percent currently. Additional revenue could flow via the introduction of a value-added tax (VAT), the Minister explained.

Galal nevertheless said that such a move would not be implemented straight away, given the more urgent need to boost growth rates.

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