Photo: File.
INTERNATIONAL – Egypt's economy achieved positive results during the 2018/19 fiscal year (fy), with a growth of 5.6 percent and a surplus for the first time in the state budget, the Egyptian finance minister said in a statement on Wednesday. 

The country's fiscal year starts in early July and ends in late June. "This is the highest growth rate achieved in years and one of the highest in the world," said Egypt's Finance Minister Mohamed Maait, stressing that the country aims to achieve a 6-percent economic growth in the ongoing 2019/2020 fy. 

He described Egypt's economic growth structure under the latest reforms as "sustainable and diversified." 

Earlier in July, the Egyptian government applied the latest round of fuel subsidy cuts, increasing its prices between 16 and 30 percent as a necessary measure in an economic reform program supported by a 12-billion-dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). 

Maait pointed out that lifting fuel and energy subsidies gave a space for more government spending on cash support, social protection and human development programs and also increased the government's investments. 

Egypt started its IMF-supported three-year austerity-based economic reform program in November 2016, including fuel and energy subsidy cuts, introduction of value-added tax and devaluation of local currency. 

The country received so far 10 billion dollars of the IMF total loan. Later in July, the IMF is expected to vote on providing Egypt with the last 2-billion-dollar tranche of loan. 

XINHUA