Supporting the corporate sector, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) must be a key priority for policy makers in emerging markets and developing economies, including Egypt, to go ahead in its path towards recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, said Tobias Adrian, the financial counsellor and director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s Monetary and Capital Markets Department.
Adrian made his comments in his answer to Ahram Online’s question on the challenges that SMEs are facing amid the ongoing crisis and how can emerging markets, including Egypt, cope with such a serious situation.
This came within the press briefing the IMF held on Tuesday to launch its global financial stability report.
He added that policy makers in such markets, including Egypt, have to provide a kind of framework that includes instruments to secure the required liquidity for SMEs and to extend further fiscal support to the corporate sector as a whole.
He also said that the sector is really suffering, especially with the severe implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism sector and the impacts of such a situation on the sector’s enterprises, restaurants, and other types of businesses.
Fabio M. Natalucci, the IMF’s deputy director of the Monetary and Capital Markets Department, also said that SMEs in developing countries lack access to capital markets.
He added that providing access to capital markets will give SMEs the confidence and the ability to address their challenges, urging policy makers in emerging markets and developing countries to provide liquidity to these firms, including extending long-term loans.
For US Feds interest rates and their impact on emerging markets’ economies, Adrian said that Feds interest rates are expected to range around zero level through 2023, but, as economies start to recover, policies are expected to change and such interest rate levels could go up and treasury supply could change, which will result in a rise in real interest rate values and equity valuation.