Egypt’s Finance Minister, Mohamed Moeit, announced that the list of items of non-essential imports will be revised on a monthly basis.
Moeit explained during a press conference on Sunday, that if some non-essential imports were severely affected by the decision to liberalise the customs exchange rates, they will be added to the essential goods list.
Starting from 1 December, the customs exchange rate for strategic and essential goods will remain at EGP 16, while the rate for non-essential goods will be set as the average exchange rate listed by the Central Bank of Egypt in the preceding month.
Egypt had set a monthly fixed customs exchange rate in January 2017, following the flotation of local currency in November 2016.
Moeit added that the decision is not related to the IMF, and that the state will not prohibit the import of any particular goods.
On the other hand, he announced that the ministry aims to reduce the budget deficit to 8.4% of the GDP in the current fiscal year (FY), down from 9.8% in the previous year.
“We aim to lower the figure to below the 5% of the GDP by FY 2020/21” Moeit elaborated.
Moreover, the minister said that Egypt has faced various negative circumstances in recent months, such as the Federal Reserve interest rate hikes, the emerging markets crisis, and the crude oil price fluctuations.