International Cooperation Minister Faaiza Abu al-Naga said Egypt’s loan policy has achieved a tremendous lead in the last two decades as foreign debt has been rescheduled and reduced from $56 billion to $32 billion.
According to al-Naga, President Hosni Mubarak himself directs Egypt’s foreign loan policy and oversees the entire process.
In the 1980s, Egypt’s debt reached $56 billion, constituting 31 percent of the country’s GDP, a particularly high proportion. This put Egypt on the verge of defaulting on the loan, but the national debt shrunk to $26 billion at the beginning of the last decade, constituting 15 percent of GDP.
The size of national debt is currently $32 billion, the equivalent of 14.5 percent of Egypt’s GDP.
Abu al-Naga said foreign aid to Egypt should not be viewed as a gift. Instead, foreign aid is about mutual interests between countries and is set in accordance with international cooperation agreements, he said. The proportion of debt to GDP is decreasing and Egypt’s ability to repay exceeds the size of foreign loans.