Egypt expected to reach agreement on new IMF programme within ‘very few months’: PM

Ahram Online , Sunday 15 May 2022

Egypt is negotiating with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a new cooperation programme to support the country's comprehensive economic reforms and an agreement is expected to be reached within a “very few months,” Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Sunday.

Egypt s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly speaks during a press conference to announce the government s plan to cope with the current global economic crisis, 15 May 2022. Egyptian Cabinet


In a press conference announcing the government’s plan to cope with the current global economic crisis, Madbouly said the new IMF programme will include additional financing.

Late in March, the Egyptian cabinet said it had requested discussions with the IMF about the new programme a month after the start of the Russia-Ukraine crisis on 24 February.

Egypt’s negotiations with the IMF on the new programme first started after the completion in June 2021 of the IMF economic reform programme to help Egypt cope with the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, Madbouly said during the press conference.

“We never stopped dealing with the IMF,” Madbouly said.

He noted that the negotiations on the programme initially included technical assistance only because “there had been no need for the financial part as the Egyptian economy was on the move.”

The negotiations then started to include additional financing in light of the “huge pressures due the inflation wave and the Russia-Ukraine crisis,” the premier explained.

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and the Ministry of Finance are currently negotiating with the IMF on the new programme and much progress has been achieved, Madbouly said.

The premier also expected official visits between the Egyptian and IMF officials to start in the coming period to discuss the requested economic reform programme in details.

In its March statement, the Egyptian cabinet said its request for the new programme comes as global economies, particularly emerging economies, are currently facing simultaneous external shocks, which includes "unprecedented price uplifts for goods and services, and rising cost of financing as many global central banks have increased their interest rates to rein in the soaring inflation."

Commenting on the Egyptian request, the IMF said in March that its staff is preparing for discussions on the new programme. It noted that “a set of macroeconomic and structural policy measures would mitigate the impact of this shock on the Egyptian economy, protect the vulnerable, and preserve Egypt’s resilience and medium-term growth prospects."

In 2016, Egypt was given an IMF loan worth $12 billion for its economic reform programme that concluded in 2019. In 2020, Egypt also received two IMF loans worth about $8 billion to address the challenge posed by COVID-19.

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