Egypt's government warned Thursday, November 1 of an economic slowdown due to a drop in tourism and shipping revenues since last month's terror attacks on the United States, the official MENA news agency reported.
The government forecast "a drop in foreign currency holdings of $2.4 billion, following a decline in revenues, notably those in tourism", the cabinet's secretary general Safwat Al-Nahas said, quoted by MENA.
He forecast tourism revenues would hit only $3.2 billion in 2001, down from a record 4.3 billion dollars last year. Transport revenues will drop by $433 million in the air and maritime sectors, he said, adding that the Suez Canal alone would lose $184 million dollars.
The cabinet met to examine the economic fallout of the September 11 terror attacks, which destroyed the World Trade Center in New York and rocked the Pentagon outside Washington. Nahas said the cabinet was weighing solutions, including granting interest-free loans of $24 million a month to tourism companies in the next five months.
Egypt has already been mired in an economic recession for more than two years. In August, the government devalued the Egyptian pound against the dollar for the second time in six months. — (AFP, Cairo)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )