19 March 2013

Egypt: Five Axes for Overcoming Economic Crisis in Arab Spring Countries

The IMF Middle East and Central Asia department Masood Ahmed has set five axes for the future prospect of the Arab spring countries, including Egypt, for overcoming the current economic crisis and solve the problem of unemployment.

He disclosed that the international finance institutions pledged to offer $18.5 billion for the Arab spring states, in addition to $8 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for supporting the economic programs in Jordan, Morocco and Yemen. Moreover, the IMF conducts consultations with Egypt and Tunisia to extend the necessary financial support for them, along with providing the necessary technical consultation.

The comprehensive reform policy needed for the Arab spring states envisages the boosting of the trade integration, ameliorating the businessmen climate, the protection of the poor, taxes and linking education with labor.

Meanwhile, Cabinet spokesman Alaa el-Hadidi said on Monday 18/3/2013 that there is no connection between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan and holding the parliamentary elections.

The IMF has not set certain terms to give Egypt the loan, worth $4.8 billion, but all it wants is correct figures, Hadidi said.

The financial and economic reform program submitted by the government was welcomed by the local community, he said, adding that any negotiations held with the IMF are made within the framework of this program.

The IMF meeting with the prime minister was aimed to revise and acquire information to draft a final report and present it to the IMF board for approval, he said.

The IMF mission also had a meeting with Central Bank of Egypt Governor Hisham Ramez and the head of the ministerial economic group, he said.

The government is seeking to raise foreign reserves through several measures, including promoting tourism, increasing exports and encouraging expatriates to raise their remittances, he said.

The economic scene has changed largely since November as the US agreed to grant Egypt $190 million, which proves that there is no US pressure on the IMF to not help Egypt. He reiterated the government's respect for the right to hold peaceful protests but rejects any vandalism acts or attacks on public or private property.

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