Egypt

Occupying the northeast corner of the African continent, Egypt is bisected by the highly fertile Nile valley, where most economic activity takes place.

Egypt's economy was highly centralized during the rule of former President Gamal Abdel NASSER but opened up considerably under former Presidents Anwar EL-SADAT and Mohamed Hosni MUBARAK.

Weak growth and limited foreign exchange earnings have made public finances unsustainable, leaving authorities dependent on expensive borrowing for deficit finance and on Gulf allies to help cover the import bill. In 2015-16, higher levels of foreign investment contributed to a slight rebound in GDP growth after a particularly depressed post-revolution period. In 2016, Cairo enacted a value-added tax, implemented fuel and electricity subsidy cuts, and floated its currency, which led to a sharp depreciation of the pound and corresponding inflation. In November 2016, the IMF approved a $12 billion, three-year loan for Egypt and disbursed the first $2.75 billion tranche.

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