Egyptian Officials to Tour Gulf Seeking Grants, Radwan Says

Egyptian officials will tour Persian Gulf countries seeking grants to help revive an economy hit by the unrest that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, Finance Minister Samir Radwan said.

“The immediate task at hand is to broaden the fiscal space,” Radwan said at a seminar in Cairo today. “That is why we are looking at means and ways to get as much grants as we could.”

Egypt has experienced near-daily protests since an uprising that began in January and eventually toppled President Hosni Mubarak. Economic growth has slowed as many tourists have stayed away and factory output has been hit by strikes. The country’s net international reserves fell for a third month in March to $30.1 billion, the lowest level in more than three years, from $33.3 billion in the previous month, according to provisional data on the central bank’s website.

Countries in the Gulf and elsewhere have expressed support for Egypt, Radwan said. He said he would be “very happy” if growth this year ranged between 2.5 and 3 percent, down from 5.1 percent in the previous 12 months.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mariam Fam in Cairo at mfam1@bloomberg.net; Mahmoud Kassem at mkassem1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net.

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