An agreement on the proposed $4.8 billion loan to Egypt could be reached by mid-November, according to director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christian Lagarde.
Lagarde spoke to Egyptian reporters on Thursday in a press briefing that was held during the joint meeting of the IMF and the World Bank in Tokyo. “As you know, I visited Egypt at the end of August,” she said. “We had very good discussions with the president, the prime minister in particular and members of the government, as well as the governor of the Central Bank. We are due to return to Egypt in the course of this month to pursue discussions. As you will have noted, one of your authorities indicated that he was hoping for closure of our discussions in the middle of next month.”
Lagarde was referring to statements made by Finance Minister Momtaz El-Saeed during the Euromoney conference held in Cairo on Tuesday. The minister said he expects the agreement with the IMF to be finalised two weeks after the visit scheduled for late October.
Prime Minister Hesham Qandil however expressed hopes that the deal will be sealed by the end of the month during the IMF’s visit.
The president’s economic advisor, Abdalla Shehata, confirmed that the IMF delegation will visit Egypt after Eid Al-Adha. However he doubted that a deal would be reached by that time, stating that the details of the economic programme are not yet clear. “I don’t think they will finalise an agreement before the beginning of the new year.”
As a requisite for the negotiations, the IMF requires Egypt to put forward an economic road map.
The IMF issued a communique on the final day of the meetings stating that, “the Fund has increased its support for Arab countries in transition and continues to work with these authorities as they develop home-grown national reform strategies to deliver inclusive growth and jobs.”
The International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) stated that, “fiscal policy should be appropriately calibrated to be as growth-friendly as possible.”
The IMF’s steering committee, the IMFC comprises approximately twenty four representatives from central banks and governments who advise the IMF’s board on its work.