Egypt unveils economic plan
Egypt's Cabinet on Wednesday unveiled the main features of its social and economic development plan for the fiscal year 2013/14.
According to the plan, which has been published on Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website, Egypt's economic growth rate is forecast to reach 4.1 percent in 2013/14, up from the 3 percent expected for the current 2012/13 fiscal year.
The growth rate for individual incomes, meanwhile, is expected to rise to 2.1 percent in the next fiscal year, according to the plan. In 2012/13, the figure is forecast to rise by 0.6 percent.
The government also anticipates the investment rate to increase to 16.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2013/14. The investment rate for the first quarter of the 2012/13 fiscal year stood at 11.1 percent of GDP.
Projected investment increases are, in turn, expected to reduce the national unemployment rate to 12.4 percent compared to the current 13 percent, according to the government plan.
Egypt's budget deficit, meanwhile, ran at $17.7 billion for the first seven months of the current 2012/13 fiscal year. This is forecast to reach 9.5 percent of GDP in 2013/14 compared to 10.4 percent in the 2011/12 fiscal year.
The government plan also envisions improvements to poor Egyptians' living conditions, including the upgrade of 222 poor villages nationwide at a total expenditure of LE912 million ($134.2 million), in addition to the development of 68 slum areas and construction of new housing units.
Tourists visiting Egypt are forecast to rise by 1 million during the coming 2013/14 fiscal year to reach a total of 12.5 million, generating some $10 billion in revenue, according to the government plan.
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