Following a currency crisis in 2016, Egypt implemented a series of reforms, the results of which are apparent across key macroeconomic indicators. GDP growth rose from 5.3% in FY 2017/18 to 5.6% in FY 2018/19, and unemployment fell to 7.5%. Although Egypt faces the challenges of 2020 from a relatively robust position, lockdown measures and market turbulence have significantly impacted the economy. In April 2020 the Ministry of Finance downgraded its growth forecast for FY 2020/21 from 4.5% to 3.5%, before reducing this further to 2% in May 2020. Nevertheless, this makes Egypt the only Arab economy expected to experience positive GDP growth in 2020 and one of the few countries worldwide not set to enter recession. While the full impact of the pandemic remains to be seen, the country has moved to mitigate the worst effects by boosting government investment, and supporting small businesses and strategic industries that were adversely affected by the crisis. This chapter contains interviews with Mohamed Maait, Minister of Finance; and Ahmed Abd El Wahab, Executive Director, General Authority for Investment and Free Zones.
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