IMF approves $3 billion support package for Egypt - GulfToday

IMF approves $3 billion support package for Egypt


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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a deal that will provide a $3 billion support package to Egypt over a period of almost four years, with the agreement expected to draw in additional $14 billion in financing for the Middle East country.

The announcement from the IMF’s executive board late on Friday comes after a preliminary agreement was reached in October between Egypt and the Fund, hours after Egypt’s central bank introduced a series of reforms, including a hike in key interest rates by roughly 2 percentage points.

The deal announced on Friday – known as an Extended Fund Facility Arrangement – is expected to cover a period of 46 months and will give the Egyptian government immediate access to about $347 million, which will help the debt-ridden economy nation bolster its balance of payments and budget, the IMF said.

The statement said the package is expected “to catalyse additional financing of about $14 billion from Egypt’s international and regional partners.”

According to the IMF, the package will introduce wide-sweeping economic reforms, including a “durable shift to a flexible exchange rate regime” and a “monetary policy aimed at gradually reducing inflation.”

It also envisages structural changes to the Egyptian economy to rebalance “the playing field” between the state and private sector, IMF said.

The new IMF financial support package for Egypt aims to reduce government debt to less than 80 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the medium term, a Cabinet report released on Saturday said.

The Fund didn’t require the Egyptian government to cut spending on subsidies, the report said, adding the new programme aims to strengthen the social protection network for citizens.

Earlier Dubai International Chamber, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, announced the opening of three new international representative offices based in Cairo, Tel Aviv, and Istanbul, respectively.

The Cairo office was officially inaugurated at a special ceremony in the presence of Mariam Khalifa Al Kaabi, UAE Ambassador to Egypt; Omar Khan, Executive Director, International Offices at Dubai International Chamber; and several high-profile Emirati and Egyptian business leaders.

The new openings support Dubai Chambers’ strategic goals to attract international business and investment to Dubai and to drive its members’ global expansion. They are in line with the “Dubai Global” initiative launched by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, to establish 50 representative offices for Dubai in five continents by 2030.

”Dubai Global” aims to attract foreign multinational corporations (MNCs) and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) investors, and international talent to Dubai by showcasing the emirate’s competitive advantages, sharing investment intelligence, and engaging with overseas stakeholders. Supported by strategic public and private sector partners, Dubai Global accelerates efforts to boost Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade from Dhs1.4 trillion to Dhs2 trillion by 2026, as part of the emirate’s five-year foreign trade plan.

With trade between UAE and Egypt reaching $7.5 billion in 2021, Dubai International Chamber’s new office in Cairo will strengthen the commercial relationship between the two countries, boosting investment ties in key sectors, including trade manufacturing, agribusiness, IT and maritime.

The Cairo office will offer Dubai businesses market intelligence, route-to-market strategies, and operational set-up expertise, maximising business opportunities in Egypt. Similarly, Egyptian MNCs and SMEs will stand to gain market and operational expertise and access to trustworthy partners in Dubai.

Egypt was Dubai’s second trading partner on the African continent in 2021 and ranked 20th globally on the list of Dubai’s trading partners last year. The number of Egyptian companies registered as members of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and operating in the emirate amounted to more than 14,700 companies, which represents a growth of 103 percent compared to 2016 numbers, which reflected Dubai’s importance and reputation for Egyptian businessmen and entrepreneurs. In addition, Egypt is one of the largest start-up hubs on the African continent and accounts for 14 percent of all start-ups in Africa, according to an OECD report.

Commenting on the inauguration of the new offices, Hassan Al Hashemi, Vice President of International Relations, at Dubai Chambers, said, “We are delighted to announce the addition of three new bases in Egypt, Israel and Türkiye, to our global network of international representation offices.”

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