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IMF loan talks going smoothly: Egypt's finance minister

Egyptian Finance Minister El-Morsi Hegazy says IMF loan negotiations are going well and government will stick to its economic recovery plan

Ahram Online, Wednesday 30 Jan 2013
El-Morsi Hegazy
Finance minister El-Morsi Hegazy with PM Hisham Qandil (Photo: AO)
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Negotiations between Egypt and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over a $4.8 billion loan deal are advancing smoothly, Egyptian Finance Minister El-Morsi Hegazy has said.

"The agreement is currently pending the government's review and the results of the 'social dialogue' over the government's economic recovery plan," Hegazy said in a press statement on Wednesday.

The government's Economic Recovery Plan, announced in November 2012, was met with widespread criticism by the opposition, as it was perceived as an attempt to implement austerity measures as part of the IMF loan conditions.

Egypt is committed to implementing a series of policies to boost the economy and create a sense of social and economic security for the average citizen, Hegazy said.

The government main's priority is to promote investment as it is the only way to generate high growth and employment rates, he added.

The minister said Egypt had diversified investment opportunities ranging from large-scale projects such as the Suez Canal Development Initiative, to the ministry's public-private partnership (PPP) programme.

The Egyptian government claims the IMF loan will boost investor confidence and will open the door for further economic aid packages.

Egypt's budget deficit reached LE50 billion (roughly $8 billion) in the first quarter of the 2012/13 fiscal year, which began in July 2012. IMF officials announced the loan would be directed to finance the country's growing budget deficit.

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