World Bank delegation to visit Egypt in first half of March

Ahram Online , Wednesday 1 Mar 2017

Delegates will meet with Egyptian officials to discuss government efforts to revive the country's flagging economy

File Photo: World Bank (Photo: Reuters)

A senior delegation of the World Bank Group will visit Egypt in the first half of March to hear more about reform policies undertaken by the government to revive the Egyptian economy, Egypt's Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said Wednesday.

In a ministerial coordination meeting reported by state news agency MENA, Nasr underlined the importance of coordination between different authorities to improve Egypt’s rank in the Doing Business Report and to highlight Egypt’s efforts in many fields.

The meeting was attended by a number of ministers and ministry representatives, including the ministries of transportation, energy, justice, finance, planning and the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority.

Egypt rose four places in the Doing Business index for 2017, released in October 2016, compared to the last year's report, placing 122nd out of 190 countries and taking fifth place among comparative economies in the MENA region in terms of the ease of doing business.

It was preceded by the UAE, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Last year, the report said that Egypt's overall rank was 131st out of 189 countries. However, earlier this year the rank was revised to 126th.

In 2014, Egypt embarked on a plan to introduce a number of fiscal reforms, including floating the pound, undertaken last November, fuel subsidy cuts that raised prices by up to 78 percent, as well as the imposition of new taxes to ease a growing budget deficit.

Egypt signed a second $1 billion tranche loan agreement with the director of the World Bank in Cairo in late December part of a $3 billion loan package to support Egypt’s economic reform programme.

Egypt received the first tranche of the loan in September.

The current portfolio of the World Bank in Egypt includes 25 projects with a total commitment of about $8.5 billion.

Following the flotation of the local currency in November, the IMF approved the loan and the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) received an initial $2.75 billion tranche.

After the receiving the tranche of the IMF loan, as well loans from the World Bank and the African Development Bank, Egypt’s foreign reserves reached $26.3 billion by the end of January 2017, up from around $16.5 billion in January 2016, the Central Bank said.

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