IMF chief Lagarde ‘very impressed’ by Egypt’s economic reforms

Egypt counts on positive IMF assessment to boost investment

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The managing director of the International Monetary Fund said she was “very impressed” by Egypt’s economic reforms, ahead of a long-delayed economic assessment which if positive could help attract investment.

“I’m very impressed by what the Egyptian authorities are implementing in terms of reform,” Christine Lagarde told Al Arabiya’s Lara Habib at the IMF annual meeting in Washington.

“We have been in close contact for technical assistance matters… will soon be able to work with Egypt on an article 4 review, which is normally conduct every year and which is overdue in the case of Egypt,” Lagarde added.

She denied any new loan programs to Egypt, but noted the organization is rapt with the country’s economic reforms.

Egypt is planning to hold a major investment conference in February and is counting on a positive IMF assessment to win the trust of foreign investors.

The government said it wants the results published before the Egypt Economic Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, according to Reuters.

“We hope that the (IMF) report comes in favor of Egypt and contributes to the return of foreign flows, either directly as investments in the real economy or indirectly by improving the stock market,” the finance ministry statement said.

Egypt has not held Article IV consultations, where IMF experts assess a country’s financial and economic state of affairs, since March 2010, according to the IMF.

Mubarak’s ouster and the political turmoil that followed it triggered a sharp decline in foreign investment and tourism revenues, hammering the country’s economy.

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