Achieving high growth rates will take 3-5 years, says Central Bank governor

Central Bank Governor Farouq al-Oqda said on Wednesday that the economy needs three to five years to achieve high growth rates, and that Egypt could become like the Asian Tigers with hard work and perseverance.

The governor had asked the Gold Mining Company in the Eastern Desert to provide the bank with gold so as to increase its reserves, but the company declined his request.

“We wanted 24-karat gold of 99.9 percent purity, but the company preferred to sell its products abroad,” Oqda said. “Still, our international reserves are good.”

Oqda also said that the bank bought more foreign currency than it sold when the banks were reopened after the revolution, which caused dealers to lose more than US$200 million.

He added that the conversion rates went down because the bank refused to interfere in the market, not because it has injected foreign currencies into the banks.

He reassured investors that foreign currency income from tourism is increasing as the sector is starting to recuperate.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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