Washington, DC – “Egypt has made great progress under its reform programme. I think that what is remarkable is that there has been real ownership on the part of the Egyptian people who made huge sacrifices to restore a more stable situation and in order to align the Egyptian pound, for instance, with what we regarded and what the markets regarded as its real value relative to the economy,” the IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said.
Talking to Daily News Egypt during the IMF spring meetings on Thursday, Lagarde added, “We are getting close to the end of that programme, and we very much hope that the next review, yet to come, will be completed satisfactorily. I have received insurance from President Al-Sisi, as I said earlier this week, that Egypt will stay committed in order to complete the programme and deliver on their commitment.“
She has assured Al-Sisi that the IMF remains available to continue to help Egypt go forward in order to maintain stability and to ensure that growth continues to support the Egyptian economy, thereby creating jobs, she disclosed.
“I have specifically raised the issue of the entrepreneurship of young people and how they need a space and the freedom to operate in order to contribute to the economic development in Egypt. In return, the president he requested that we help in that respect as much as we can,” according to Lagrade.
During a press conference at the IMF’s spring meetings, Lagarde said that the global economy is also currently quite uncertain, noting, “As I said a year ago, we were talking about synchronised growth and 75% of the global economy was going through that phase. We are now talking about a synchronised slowdown by 70% of the global economy.”
She disclosed that the IMF’s forecast for growth this year is 3.3%, going back up in 2020 to reach 3.6%, which is subject to downside risks ranging from unresolved trade tensions, high debt in some sectors, and countries both in public and corporate, in addition to the Brexit which will affect growth.
“I would suggest multiple policies not a single policy because it will have to be country-specific, and there is no one-size fits all,” Lagrade said.
“We are looking at our debt sustainability analysis and conditionality as well as improving low-income countries’ facilities, besides comprehensive surveillance. Therefore, we can harness the benefits of technologies and best practices in all countries around the world, in order to provide services that are expected by the members,” she explained. “In our fiscal recommendations, we strongly urge many countries to rebuild their fiscal buffers as it is essential for many developing countries.”