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Egypt in severe economic crisis as minister calls for austerity measures

February 5, 2014 at 1:54 am

Egypt’s Commerce and Industry Minister said on Wednesday that his country is in the middle of a “severe economic crisis” and that it needs some serious “austerity measures”. Moneer Abdel-Nour was speaking at a meeting with the Labourers’ Union.

“Egypt’s expenses are far greater than its income,” he said. “This is the situation of the government and so our debts will increase.” The budget deficit is now around 13.3 per cent of the GDP, while the general debt stands at 100 per cent. With price rises not matching those of individual income increases, he added, the government has to impose austerity measures.

Answering a question about the damage caused to Egypt’s textile industry, the minister said that there are many factors behind the problem in the sector. He suggested that international experts need to work with the Egyptians to overcome the problem.

On taxes and import revenues, Abdel-Nour said that Egypt has to be open to the whole world. Citing India as an example of this, he insisted that such openness had brought a great deal of development to India.