On July 24, 2019, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the fifth and final review of Egypt’s economic reform program supported by an arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). The completion of the review allows the authorities to draw the equivalent of SDR 1,432.76 million (about US$2 billion). This brings total disbursements to SDR 8,596.57 million (about US$11.9 billion or 422 percent of quota), which is the full amount approved by the Executive Board on November 11, 2016 (see Press Release No. 16/501) to support the authorities’ economic reform program.
Following the Executive Board discussion on Egypt, Mr. David Lipton, Acting Managing Director and Chairman of the Board, said:
“Egypt has successfully completed the three-year arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility and achieved its main objectives. The macroeconomic situation has improved markedly since 2016, supported by the authorities’ strong ownership of their reform program and decisive upfront policy actions. Critical macroeconomic reforms have been successful in correcting large external and domestic imbalances, achieving macroeconomic stabilization and a recovery in growth and employment, and putting public debt on a clearly declining trajectory.
“Monetary policy remains anchored by the medium-term objective of bringing inflation to single digits. Core inflation appears to be well contained, but the central bank should remain cautious until disinflation is firmly entrenched. Exchange rate flexibility remains essential to improve resilience to shocks and preserve competitiveness.
“The 2018/19 primary surplus target of 2 percent of GDP was met, helping to anchor a further decline in the public-debt-to-GDP ratio. It will be important to maintain primary surpluses at this level over the medium term to keep public debt on a downward trajectory. The elimination of most fuel subsidies, which are regressive, will encourage energy efficiency, help protect the budget from unexpected changes in oil prices, and free up fiscal space for social spending. Improved revenue mobilization is also essential to create room for spending in health, education, and social protection.
“The outlook remains favorable and provides an opportune juncture to further advance structural reforms to support more inclusive private-sector led growth and job creation. The authorities have launched important reforms of competition policy, public procurement, industrial land allocation, and state-owned enterprises, and sustained implementation will be essential to ensure that statutory changes achieve meaningful results in the business climate. Deepening and broadening of effective reforms is critical to underpin the positive outlook for growth and unemployment.”Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).