IMF mission to visit Egypt by 2014 end: Minister
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By THE CAIRO POST

CAIRO: A delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will visit Egypt later this year to review the Egyptian economic situation, Minister of International Cooperation Naglaa Al-Ahwani told MENA Saturday.

On the sidelines of the IMF and the World Bank autumn meetings in Washington, Ahwani said Egypt has invited the IMF to visit Cairo, and the visit is aimed at consultations regarding the economic situation.

IMF’s managing director Christine Lagarde told Al-Arabiya Saturday that she was “very impressed” by Egypt’s economic reforms.

In exclusive statements to MENA, Ahwani said that relations between Egypt and the IMF are “strong.” This is the first visit to be paid to Egypt by an IMF delegation since March 2010, according to the minister.

Egypt and the IMF have had a tense relationship since the January 25 Revolution, because of the international lender’s efforts to persuade Cairo to undertake economic reforms such as subsidy cuts and impose a value added tax.

Meanwhile, Ahwani said earlier in an economic conference held in September that Egypt is not currently planning to obtain an IMF loan.

Ahwani also stated that the New Suez Canal digging operation is carried out by Egyptian hands and Egyptian financing.

The government recently issued investment certificates in hopes of raising 60 billion EGP to finance a Suez Canal expansion project that includes a new 72 kilometer branch of the major world waterway parallel to the current canal. Also, six new tunnels across the canal will be built in preparation for launching a logistics hub and trade zone.

Egyptian banks sold over 64.5 billion EGP worth of Suez Canal investment certificates within eight days.

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