UAE Minister of State Sheikh Sultan Al-Jaber said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed willingness to start a development programme in tandem with the Egyptian government’s economic reform strategies.
In an interview with state-run MENA news agency, Al-Jaber, who is also overseeing the UAE’s aid to Egypt, said “all international institutions involved in the economic sector have affirmed that Egypt is on the right path, whether international multilateral institutions such as the IMF or World Bank, or investors in the private sector who actively and effectively participated” in the Economic Summit last month.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde had noted in her speech during the summit that “some of the right policies are already in the government’s plans”, stressing the importance of “designing them right, and to make them hold”.
Hailing Egypt’s economic reforms that include the cutting of fuel subsidies and new taxation policies, Lagarde stressed the importance of policies to restore confidence and inclusive growth for sustainable growth.
Since 2011, Egypt and the IMF were engaged in talks over a $4.8bn loan request. The talks were repeatedly halted until 2013, due to political turbulence which stymied necessary IMF-backed measures like subsidy cuts and taxation reforms. Despite accomplishing these measures, Egypt seems to be in no rush to seal the deal due to incoming aid and support from Gulf countries.
In the MENA interview, Al-Jaber said that Egypt secured over $17bn worth of commitments pledged by governments and multilateral institutions. These include $12bn pledged by Gulf states, and $4bn by the World Bank over the next four years.