Egypt and IMF set for talks tomorrow
Prime Minister Hisham Qandil has announced that a top-level IMF delegation would visit Egypt on Monday to discuss a long-awaited $4.8 billion loan, adding that the government would take the opportunity to clarify the reasons for Egypt's request to postpone the loan and reassure the delegation that the government would abide by its economic reform plan.
In the upcoming period, the government will focus on attracting investors, said Qandil. Within this context, an Egyptian delegation would visit London this month to promote private-sector projects in Egypt, he added, stressing that the UK – one of the world's top financial centres – had become a "global investment hub."
Qandil had previously stated that the IMF loan constituted a "world recognition certificate" for the Egyptian economy and a prerequisite to boosting investor confidence.
A preliminary IMF loan agreement was signed last November, but final ratification of the deal was postponed in December upon the request of President Mohamed Morsi, largely in reaction to domestic political turbulence at the time and economic uncertainty.
Egypt's economy has recently suffered considerable blows, with international credit agency Standard and Poor's downgrading its credit rating to B-minus.
Last month, the Central Bank of Egypt announced that Egypt's foreign-currency reserves had reached "alarming" levels, stressing that fiscal reforms must be undertaken "swiftly."
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