Suez Canal revenues, expat remittances up despite revolution

Despite the revolution and global financial troubles, some sectors of the Egyptian economy have attained stable performance and growth rates, Abu Bakr al-Guindy, director of the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), said Thursday.

"The Egyptian economy was deeply affected during the early days of the revolution, and the tourism and investment sectors continue to be negatively affected," Guindy added.

In an October press statement, Manpower and Immigration Minister Ahmed Hassan al-Borai warned that "Egypt is currently passing through a critical period, and is on the verge of bankruptcy.” He went on to say that Egypt is losing money and deteriorating day by day.

Finance Minister Hazem al-Beblawy, who also holds the title of deputy prime minister, responded to Borai’s comments last month by saying that Egypt's economy is going through a very difficult phase, but that it will not go bankrupt.

Guindy said Thursday that according to CAPMAS reports, Suez Canal revenues have not been affected, but rather increased during the first six months of 2011, bringing in US$2.55 billion compared to US$2.26 billion for the same period in 2010.

Remittances from Egyptian expatriates also increased over the same period. According to Guindy, net remittances from January to June 2011 reached about US$6.31 billion, a 2.3 percent increase over the US$6.17 billion earned during the same period in 2010.

He added that exports have increased since February 2011. August exports were up 4.7 percent over the same month last year. He said the increase can be attributed to the export of crude oil and its byproducts, in addition to refined sugar, carpets and rugs.

Tourism revenue, however, was down nearly US$1.94 billion, or 34.8 percent, from the first six months of 2010.

Direct foreign investment from leading economic activities was also negatively impacted, dropping 102 percent during the first six months of 2011.

The unemployment rate rose 11.8 percent in the second quarter of 2011 as compared to 9 percent in the second quarter of 2010, Guindy said.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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