Finance Minister Mohamed Maait
"All files related to the International Monetary Fund's loan have been agreed upon, and we are working now on the final completion stage of the loan programme," he told US network CNBC Arabia on Wednesday evening on the sidelines of the IMF and World Bank annual meetings in Washington.
Egypt began talks with the IMF in March to secure a fresh loan to back its plans for economic reform and meet the country’s financial needs due to the global economic challenges amid the Russia-Ukraine war.
Maait said the world is going through a crisis and the government is working on alleviating its intensity domestically, assuring that the Egyptian citizen should not shoulder the full burden of the global financial crisis.
In September, the government introduced a new social protection package to help people cope with the ramifications of the Russia-Ukraine war.
The current stage is difficult, but is being managed well, assured Maait.
The finance minister stressed that emerging economies and middle-income nations are the most affected by the global economic crisis, adding that the state of uncertainty that prevails in the world is deepening the economic crisis.
The minister referred to the exit of $22 billion in hot money -- indirect investments in local debt instruments -- from the Egyptian market on the heels of the war.
Maait said the government is ready to make the Egyptian pound exchange rate flexible if necessary, underscoring that the soaring USD has applied pressure on all currencies, including the Egyptian pound.
In an interview with Saudi news TV channel Al-Arabiya earlier this month, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said a final agreement with Egypt about a new loan could possibly be reached within weeks.
Since the start of the government's implementation of the IMF-backed economic reform programme in 2016, Egypt has secured three loans from the fund, including a $12 billion loan to execute the first wave of reforms (November 2016 - July 2019) under the Extended Fund Facility.
This was followed by two separate loans amounting to $8 billion in 2020 to tackle the harsh impacts of the pandemic, under the IMF’s Rapid Finance Facility and Stand-By Arrangement.
So far, no more details have been released on the size of the new package.