Egypt's economic policies sharply changed direction in 2004 following the appointment of a pro-reform cabinet led by Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif. The new cabinet moved quickly to put in place a number of key trade, foreign exchange, and tax policy reforms. The government also announced plans to restructure the financial sector and privatize most state enterprises, while taking steps to modernize fiscal accounts and strengthen monetary policy.
In concluding the IMF's annual review of the economy in May 2005, the IMF Executive Board commended the Egyptian authorities for the clear change in the direction of economic policies and progress made thus far. The pace of economic recovery picked up in 2004, with real GDP increasing by 4.8 percent in the first half of fiscal year 2004/05 (July-December 2004), compared with the same period a year earlier.
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Growth was driven largely by strong external demand and underpinned by a moderate revival in consumption and improved investor confidence. Egypt's current account surplus expanded to 4.4 percent of GDP in the fiscal year ending June 30...