IMF envoys: Egypt visit is to express solidarity, not discuss loan details

The International Monetary Fund's delegation in Cairo met with representatives from the economic ministries to agree on the steps Egypt must take to receive a US$4.8 billion loan to help the country out of its current economic crisis.

A source participating in the meetings said the purpose of the delegation's first visit to Egypt is not to negotiate the details of the loan but rather to express support for Egypt, particularly after the election of a new president and the formation of a new cabinet.

The source, which declined to be identified, said the objective of the visit is to show support for Egypt's government at this stage of economic and political reform and demonstrate that the IMF is part of that process. The source added that the government will soon announce its plans for foreign borrowing, particularly from the IMF.

The technical discussions with the IMF will begin in early September, and will include reviews of technical studies, data, statistics and projections for the performance of the Egyptian economy, as well as projected growth rates.

The source added that the conditions for borrowing from the IMF apply to all countries, and that Egypt could ask for a bigger loan.

Meanwhile, Rania al-Mashat, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, said the IMF loan could help encourage the flow of capital into Egypt and direct foreign investments, as well as prompt local investments which would revitalize the economy, increase growth rates, bolster sustainable development and raise the value of the local currency.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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