Egypt exports rise 16%

Egypt’s exports increased by 16 per cent in the first four months of this year, reaching $8.644 billion, the country’s Ministry for Trade and Industry announced earlier this week.

The ministry did not provide information on the country’s volume of imports or trade deficit, but it said that foreign trade has increased 12 per cent.

Last Saturday, Egypt’s official newspaper Al-Ahram reported that the Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail had issued a decree which stipulated an increase in the price of drinking water and sanitation services by 46.5 per cent.

This is the second increase in less than a year, which sparked public anger, especially after the increase in the Cairo subway tickets last month as well as the government’s recent announcement that it plans to remove subsidies on fuel and electricity by the end of June 2019.

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Egypt has been implementing extensive economic reforms under a $12 billion three-year loan deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which was signed in 2016. The first step saw the country float its currency and cut subsidies leading to increased inflation and poverty.

Government officials say that spending cuts will help revive the economy.

Whilst the IMF praised the Egyptian government’s efforts last year, inflation reached 33 per cent in August, the country’s highest level since 1986. The new state policies have added to the financial woes of many millions of Egyptians living below the poverty line, who have complained of being unable to afford basic necessities as a result of the price increases.

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