Mini-Cabinet meeting on economic performance
Egypt, Economics, 6/22/2000
Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak yesterday met with Economic Ministerial Group and discussed investment, financial and banking issues and reviewed the outcome of the G-15 Summit which closed in Cairo last Tuesday.
Following the meeting, Information Minister Safwat el-Sherif told reporters that President Mubarak also reviewed reports on increasing state resources, developing exports, redressing balance deficit and the government's plan to reduce the volume of foreign debt.
The President briefed the ministerial group on the details of his separate meetings with leaders of the G-15, and instructed the ministers to capitalize on the Summit momentum to develop economic ties with the Group Members, especially India, Indonesia and Malaysia.
President Mubarak discussed a report to increase the volume of Egyptian exports that included a proposal to end the multiplicity of controls on exports to ease the rigmarole impeding the outflow of Egyptian goods to overseas markets.
The report detailed the executive steps needed to create cold store warehouses in Cairo airport and Borg Elarab to serve exporters. The developments introduced on the Alexandria and al-Dekheila marine ports have also been discussed.
These developments will be standardized all over Egyptian ports if they prove effective in encouraging and promoting exports.
President Mubarak asked the ministers to grapple with different alternatives to withstand the adverse impact of the decline in the value of the Euro on Egyptian exports.
The participating ministers briefed the President on their joint efforts to market Egyptian exports in the US and Europe through international companies.
Minister of Petroleum presented a report detailing the Ministry's efforts to increase state revenues to deal with the deficit problem.
"Egypt expects an oil surplus of $755 million for fiscal year 2000/01 (july-june) after earlier budget projections of a $ 450 million deficit," Information Minister Safwat al-Sherif said.
He told reporters after the mini-Cabinet meeting that the government had revised its forecasts because of policies aimed at boosting oil exports and finding substitutes for oil imports.
Sherif did not mention the impact of soaring world oil prices.
He said natural gas revenue projections had also been revised, with the government expecting a surplus of 61.565 billion instead of a deficit of $744 million.
Egypt's crude oil output was running at 724,516 barrels per day in May. Natural gas sales stood at 1.86 billion cubic feet per day out of total production of 2.323 billion, with balance used by producing firms to operate their facilities.
President Mubarak also listened to a report presented by the Governor of Egypt's Central Bank on the performance of the banking sector in light of the relative improvement in the balance of payment and the decline of inflation rate to 2.9%.
Regarding the finance offered by banks to public projects, the President stressed that banks without a prior permission should offer whatsoever no finance from the Cabinet.
"Permissions should be given on basis of accurate studies and allocations should be determined according to rewards expected to be generated by these projects," President Mubarak said.
Sherif told reporters the Prime Minister submitted a report on the government's commitment to repaying its debts until the end of the current fiscal year.
Mubarak reviewed the steps taken in the privatization and structural adjustment processes and called for modernizing administrations by ducting new blood into the veins of public enterprises.
President Mubarak also held a meeting to discuss the progress of construction work at al-Azhar tunnel and ensured that work was proceeding headlong according to schedule.
Minister of Transport Ibrahim el Demiri said the Ministry was committed to completing the project by the end of this year.
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