Growth rate projected at 6% by fiscal year end

The government projects that the growth rate will reach six percent by the end of the 2009/2010 fiscal year in June and will rise to eight percent by the end of next fiscal year.

Economic Development Minister Othman Mohamed Othman said the growth rate hit five percent in the first quarter, thanks to government policies of diversifying the pillars of the economy and increasing investment opportunities in light of the global financial crisis.

"The crisis did not affect our gross domestic product (GDP)," Othman said Sunday. "It only affected our external economic activities."

Ministry economic studies showed that domestic private and government expenditure was the driving force behind growth, accounting for 77 percent of GDP, while exports declined.

In a related development, the Ministry of Trade and Industry is pressuring the Ministry of Finance not to reduce the US$4 billion allocated to allow exporters to recuperate from the crisis.

"This is pivotal for us in order to achieve our projected growth rate," said a Trade Ministry source, "as Egyptian exports to the EU dropped by 38 percent, to the US by 17 percent and to Arab countries by three percent."

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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