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Egypt still in need of financial assistance: International Monetary Fund

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Financial aid could come from Gulf countries, the IMF or other financial institutions, says IMF’s chief of mission in Egypt

Despite the aid packages Egypt had obtained from Gulf countries, the country still needs financial assistance in order to achieve economic prosperity, said Christopher Jarvis, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) chief of mission in Egypt.

Jarvis told AFP Friday that the financial aid could come from Gulf countries, the IMF or other financial institutions.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates pledged a total of $12bn in assistance to Egypt after the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July. The influx of cash moved the country to suspend its two-year negotiations with IMF over a $4.8bn loan, according to former Minister of International Cooperation Ziad Bahaa El-Din.

Minister of Finance Hany Kadry Dimian said the government will consider resuming negotiations with the IMF “but only after the presidential elections”, during an interview with the Wall Street Journal Friday, during his visit to Washington.

Dimian said discussions with the IMF won’t take place “before we have an elected government and before we implement some tough economic-reform measures”. Dimian added that the government can implement reforms on energy and tax systems before the elections, scheduled to take place in May.

IMF’s Jarvis also stressed the significance of taking steps towards reforming the energy subsidies system “which negatively affects the budget”, adding that the process would take several years.

In October, Egypt reduced its delegation to the IMF annual meeting to only diplomatic staff to protest unfair treatment by the international body, former Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi said.

Dimian, along with Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ashraf El-Araby, flew to Washington to attend the semiannual events of the IMF and World Bank, where finance ministers and central banks governors gathered.

El-Araby chaired the intergovernmental Group of 24’s meeting, an organisation of developing countries on Thursday, where the attendees discuss the situation of developing countries, concerns and demands.

Meanwhile, Dimian, during his speech during the Committee of Ten African Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors (C-10) conference, called for an additional seat for Africa in IMF’s board of directors and G20 group.

The two ministers also met in Washington with IMF’s Egyptian employees to explain the current obstacles facing Egypt’s economy and the government’s plan to overcome them, according to a statement from the Ministry of International Cooperation.

Political uncertainty that has affected tourism and investments, pushing the IMF to project slow economic growth in Egypt in 2014, the international organisation said on 8 April.

 

 

 


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