ADVERTISEMENT
News » Money
Sep 16, 2:37 PM EDT

Egypt's finance minister predicts 6% growth within 3 years, touts mega-projects


World Video

Latest News
4,300-year-old pyramid discovered in Egypt
Women join fight against female circumcision
Cheap electronics threaten Egyptian repairmen
Egypt's finance minister predicts 6% growth within 3 years, touts mega-projects

Egypt rejects accusations of mismanagement in restoration of oldest pyramid

Coptic Christian protesters clash with police in southern Egypt over abducted housewife

Roadside bomb kills 6 policemen in Egypt's restive Sinai Peninsula, officials say

Egypt's Central Bank: Funding for Suez Canal expansion covered by investment certificates

Buy AP Photo Reprints
Multimedia
A district summary of the Beige Book
Measuring economic stress by county nationwide
Mall malaise: shoppers browse, but don't buy
Unemployment by the numbers
Family struggles with father's unemployment
Saying an affordable goodbye
Hard times hit small car dealer
Latest Economic News
Eurozone inflation rate for August revised upward to 0.4 percent from 0.3 percent

Bank of England policymakers remain split on raising interest rates

French prime minister wins confidence vote, allows him to try to cure stagnant economy

Egypt's finance minister predicts 6% growth within 3 years, touts mega-projects

World Bank: Palestinian economy to shrink 4 percent in 2014, after several years of growth

Key index of German investor optimism falls for ninth month due to array of European concerns

Russia's ruble drops to all-time low amid fears over fallout from economic sanctions

OECD think tank cuts growth forecast for several developed countries, singles out eurozone

Chinese industrial production slows to 6.9 percent growth in August amid weaker export demand

US retail sales increase 0.6 percent in August, led by spending on autos and restaurants

Interactives
Greece's Debt Threatens to Spread
State budget
gaps map
Auto industry problems trickle down, punish Tennessee county
Women give old Derby hats a makeover in tough economy
S.C. town deals with highest unemployment in South
How mortgages were bundled and sold as securities
Tracking the $700 billion financial bailout
Tracking the year's job losses
State-by-state foreclosures since 2007
Credit crisis explained
Presidents and their economic legacies
Lexicon of the financial crisis
Americans' addiction to debt
Related Stories
Video of Illinois lawmaker's tirade resurfaces in one of nation's most competitive House races

Seattle evangelical megachurch shutting down branches, cutting jobs

CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's finance minister on Tuesday predicted growth rates of up to 6 percent within three years, which would mark a major turnaround following three years of political turmoil that has crippled the economy.

Hany Kadry Dimian told The Associated Press he expects growth to increase from 2.5% to 3.5% this quarter, as Egypt pursues several mega-projects -- including an expansion of the Suez Canal -- and seeks foreign investment and a revival of the vital tourism sector.

"Having all these projects in place, having investors already knocking on the door to be placed and well-situated with the development projects we have, with the Suez Canal, the 5-6% in 2-3 years is very doable," said Dimian.

The Suez Canal linking the Red Sea to the Mediterranean is a major world trade corridor and a key source of revenue for Egypt, bringing in about $5 billion annually. The expansion project, which also includes six tunnels beneath the canal and a rail line, could boost revenues to $13 billion, according to government projections.

The government says it has financed the $8.5 billion project by selling investment certificates with a maturity of five years and a 12% interest rate to Egyptian nationals.

Investment Minister Ashraf Salman said the fact that the certificates were sold in just eight days sends a message that Egyptians are "believers in the regime." However, experts say the high yields were also a draw.

The expansion project is billed as a precursor to the Suez Canal Development Zone, a mega-project aimed at transforming the five Suez Canal ports into magnets for foreign investment.

Egypt has struggled to attract investment since longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in a 2011 uprising.

Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, was ousted by the military last summer amid massive protests demanding his resignation after a turbulent year in power. Since then more than a thousand of his Islamist supporters have been killed in street clashes and thousands more arrested. Egypt has also been rocked by militant attacks, primarily targeting security forces in the Sinai Peninsula.

But after three years of unrest, Egypt's economy may be turning a corner, says analyst Angus Blair, chairman of the Signet Institute. He says Egypt is working on a "multi-dimensional approach," including plans to broaden the tax base, stimulate investment, reform commercial law, and improve relations with the IMF.

"They're behaving as if they're a long-term government as opposed to the last few years when people kept saying: `We're a temporary government.'"

He said it will be critical for the government to maximize employment as quickly as possible. "People on the street have got to feel like something's changing," he said.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

 
ADVERTISEMENT