CAIRO, July 26 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's economic growth rate has reached 5.3 percent during the outgoing fiscal year 2017-18, marking the highest in the country in 10 years, Egyptian Planning Minister Hala al-Saeed revealed on Thursday. "It achieved 5.4 percent in the third and fourth quarters of the outgoing fiscal year," the minister added. Saeed made her remarks on the sidelines of launching the third working group for the implementation of sustainable development goals in Egyptian provinces. "Investments and exports represented 76 percent of the growth rate," Saeed pointed out. The minister explained that the increase of Egypt's non-oil exports to 24.1 billion U.S. dollars in FY 2017-18, against 21.3 billion dollars in the year before, contributed to the rise of the country's economic growth rate. Egypt's economic growth rate stood at 4.2 percent in the previous FY 2016-17. The country has been facing difficult economic conditions due to political instability and relevant security challenges over the past few years, which led the foreign debt to hike from about 45 billion dollars in 2013 to 82.9 billion dollars by the end of 2017, according to the Central Bank of Egypt. To boost economy, the Egyptian government started in late 2016 a strict three-year economic reform program based on austerity measures, fuel and energy subsidy cuts and tax hikes. Including full liberalization of the Egyptian local currency's exchange rate, the reform plan has been encouraged by a 12-billion-dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund, two thirds of which has already been delivered to the most populous Arab country.