By Alois Vinga
FINANCE Minister, Mthuli Ncube met his Egyptian counterpart and exchanged notes on areas ranging from trade, exports, taxation to strategies to counter global economic shocks.
In 2020, Egypt exported goods worth US$18,9 million to Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe exported goods worth US$18,7 million to the Arab Republic.
The two nations enjoy cordial relations dating back to the 1960s when some Zimbabwean liberation fighters lived and trained in Egypt.
Over the past few years, the two nations have been exploring ways to cement the existing ties.
In an update, sources in the Arab nation revealed that Ncube met Egypt’s Finance Minister, Mohamed Maait and exchanged notes on key areas of common interest.
“Ncube reviewed the experience of financial reform and the pension system and the remarkable development witnessed by the agricultural sector and wheat production.
“He noted his country’s aspiration to benefit from the Egyptian experience in comprehensive health insurance, by sending a delegation to learn about the fundamental reforms it has taken to improve the health system,” the update reads.
On the other hand, Maait revealed that his government has initiated a stimulus package to increase production, in a manner that integrates with other efforts made by the state in order to deal flexibly with global economic challenges, including the sharp disruption of supply chains and the unprecedented increase in commodity prices and services worldwide.
“He explained that the government is keen to expand the social protection network for the neediest groups, to mitigate the severity of inflationary effects, by launching several initiatives.
“These include increasing the financial categories granted to beneficiaries of Takaful and Karama programs by 25% per month, starting from the first of next April, at an annual estimated cost of EGP 6.5bn within a package to improve the wages of state workers and pensions,” adds the update.
Among other issues discussed, Egypt said the government is keen to expand the social protection network for the neediest groups, to mitigate the severity of inflationary effects, by launching several initiatives, including increasing the financial categories granted to beneficiaries of Takaful and Karama programs by 25% per month.