CAIRO: Egypt’s economic conference held March 13-15 in Sharm el-Sheikh was a “success,” said the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department Friday.
Masoud’s remarks were part of a press briefing on the Middle East and Central Asia Economic Outlook Update on the sidelines of the World Bank Group and IMF 2015 annual spring meetings in Washington, D.C.
“It was success because it attracted not only world leaders but also investors, and it resulted in significant and large pledges of investment,” Masoud said in comments to Egypt’s Al Borsa Newspaper during the briefing posted on the IMF website.
The international recognition comes a few days after the fund upgraded its forecast for Egypt’s economic growth in 2015 to 4 percent, from 3.8 percent in its previous assessment.
The Egypt Economic Development conference (EEDC) held last month resulted in roughly $60 billion pledges and agreements of investments, which were “quite substantial” according to the IMF official.
Masoud called for getting these pledges translated into real investment, adding that “this successful conference, in a way, paves the way now for a phase in which we will begin to see increased investment, both domestic and international that would help to raise growth and create jobs.”
Egypt needs to support the flow investments while continuing reforms which would improve the business climate and consolidate macroeconomic stability, in order to attract more investments, added Masoud.
In its World Economic Outlook (WEO) released late Tuesday, the IMF said Egypt’s economy is projected to grow by 4.3 percent in 2016, noting that lower oil prices will reduce Egypt’s vulnerabilities as a main oil importer in the Middle East.
“Egypt’s macroeconomic stabilization plans and wide-ranging structural reforms are expected to increase confidence,” added the IMF.