Egypt delegation heads to Washington for IMF, World Bank meeting

Ahram Online, Wednesday 17 Apr 2013

Egyptian finance minister says delegation will seize opportunity to resume talks with IMF over pending $4.8 billion loan

An IMF delegation meeting with government officials in Cairo in March. Another technical team visited Cairo in April but talks were inconclusive(Photo: Official Cabinet facebook page)

A high-level delegation of Egyptian officials left Cairo on Wednesday, bound for Washington DC to take part in the semi-annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank later this week.

Central bank governor Hisham Ramez, Finance Minister El-Morsi El-Sayed Hegazy and Planning Minister Ashraf El-Arabi will join finance ministers and central bankers from around the world gathering at the event.

Hegazy, who is scheduled to take part in an IMF-sponsored discussion on 'The Political Economy of Transition in the Middle East', said before his departure that the Egyptian delegation would take advantage of the global meeting to resume talks with the IMF over a pending $4.8 billion loan to the struggling country.

An IMF technical team left Cairo on Tuesday after two weeks of talks with Egyptian officials yielded no conclusive outcome regarding its loan deal with Egypt.

The IMF cut its 2013 growth forecast for the Egyptian economy to 2 percent in its April 2013 World Economic Outlook report, released on Tuesday, down from the 3 percent initially predicted last October.

The international lender blamed political instability in the country for the subdued growth.

"In Egypt, the uncertainty generated by a protracted political transition has held back growth and led to an increase in fiscal and external imbalances," the WEO report read.

Egypt has been rocked by successive waves of political unrest, since a popular revolution overthrew the thirty-year-old regime of former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

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