The Arab Republic of Egypt is located in the Mediterranean spanning from the northeast part of Africa to the southwest portion of Asia through the Sinai Peninsula. The country is bordered by the Gaza Strip, Palestine, the Red Sea, Israel, Libya, Sudan, and the Gulf of Aqaba. As a witness to the progress of agriculture, writing, and agriculture, and with the Nile Valley giving birth to the oldest human settlements in the world, Egypt has been called the “cradle of civilization”.
The economy is considered a regional power in the Muslim regions as well as in the Middle East and North Africa. It relies heavily on agriculture, petroleum, media, tourism, and natural gas. During the regime of former President Gamal Abdel Nasser, the economy of Egypt was centralized but eventually became a free-trade economy under the rule of Presidents Anwar El-Sadat and Mohamed Hosni Mubarak. From 2004 and 2008, Cairo, the country aimed for economic reforms to attract international investments, however, the worldwide recession lagged the attempts.
In 2009, the country’s budget deficit rose to more than 8% and its GDP growth slacked to 4.6% mainly because of the downturn in export-driven industries such as manufacturing and tourism. In 2009, the administration invested in infrastructure which resulted in a GDP growth of more than 5%. Despite attaining economic growth for years, the standard of living for an average Egyptian is still not good enough.
The Egyptian Pound is the nation’s official currency which was introduced in 1834 and backed by the gold and silver standard. The first banknotes were issued by the National Bank of Egypt in 1899 in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100 pounds. These notes are bilingual with text written in Arabic on the obverse and English on the reverse. Each note from this series features scenes of Egypt on the obverse and guilloches on the reverse. Modern Egyptian banknotes are in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 Pounds and are mostly earth-tone hues. These notes portray religious sites, ancient Egyptian monuments, and the national emblem. They also depict Egyptian motifs and patterns.