Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today:
“The Egyptian authorities embarked on an ambitious economic reform program in 2016 that is being supported by an IMF financial arrangement. Since then, Egypt has made substantial progress as evident in the success achieved in macroeconomic stabilization. Its growth rate is now among the highest in the region, the budget deficit is on a declining trajectory, and inflation is on track to reach the Central Bank of Egypt’s target by the end of 2019. Unemployment has declined to around 10 percent, which is the lowest since 2011, and social protection measures have been expanded.
“It is important to build on the progress achieved thus far and to press ahead with structural reforms that facilitate private sector-led growth and job creation, as well as measures to increase transparency and accountability that help improve governance. This will help attain higher and more inclusive growth and will ensure better living standards for all Egyptians.
“The IMF staff team has now finalized the details required to present the fourth review for Egypt’s Extended Fund Facility arrangement to the IMF’s Executive Board. The Board will meet in the coming weeks to discuss the review and I will recommend that the Board approve the review.
“I would like to take this opportunity to commend the patience and commitment of the Egyptian people to the reform process. This will pave the way for higher and more inclusive growth for the long term, and I reiterate that the Fund stands ready to help achieve a more prosperous future for Egypt.”
The IMF Managing Director also announced that the IMF had finalised the details required to present a fourth review for Egypt’s Extended Fund Facility, which is supported by a total of $US 12 billion from the IMF. The fourth review would make available $US 2 billion, bringing total disbursements under the Extended Fund Facility to date to $US 10 billion.