IMF mission to visit Egypt in June, calls for continued reforms
IMF general director Christine Lagarde - REUTERS

CAIRO: An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission is scheduled to visit Egypt in June, IMF’s Communications Department Director Gerry Rice said, urging the government to continue important progress made on subsidy and tax reform.

In April, the IMF upgraded Egypt’s economic growth forecast in 2015 to 4 percent, from 3.8 percent in its previous assessment.

Elaborating the reason behind the IMF’s upcoming visit, Rice said the next mission is a “staff visit and part of the regular process of surveillance, and that happens in all countries. That is going to be in June, I believe.”

Earlier this month, Masood Ahmed, Director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department, said Egypt’s economic policy reforms are starting to pay off and growth is strengthening although the country still faces a difficult situation.

“We hope that the budget for 2015-16 will continue the important progress made on subsidy and tax reform begun last year,” Rice said.

He added: “Egypt needs a strong tax base and savings from subsidy cuts to contain public debt and to free up money to spend on health, education, and infrastructure.”

The Fund had held “good discussions” with Egyptian officials in Washington last month and would send a technical assistance team to Cairo in early June, Reuters quoted Ahmed.

On the sidelines of the World Bank Group and IMF 2015 annual spring meetings in Washington, D.C, Ahmed said that Egypt’s economic conference held March 13-15 in Sharm el-Sheikh, was a “success.”

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