IMF starts Egypt’s visit for macroeconomic technical follow-up
IMF general director Christine Lagarde - AFP/Saul Loeb
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CAIRO: An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission began meetings with Egyptian officials in Cairo Tuesday, for technical follow-ups and assessments of Egypt’s macroeconomic performance, the Finance Ministry stated.

The IMF mission arrived on Sunday. The delegation had been scheduled to visit Egypt in June, but it was postponed to the end of the summer.

“The discussions with the IMF mission come in light of the fund’s periodic follow-up operations with member countries, to see the development of their economies along with fiscal and monetary policies,” the statement read.

Egypt has adopted a five-year macroeconomic plan aimed to reduce the budget gap to (8- 8.5 percent) by 2018/2019, by applying subsidy and tax reforms.

Last July, Egypt’s government cut energy subsidies by 40 billion EGP ($5.6 billion,) to slash its budget deficit and ballooning public debt.

“Egypt has adopted a “good economic reform program” and also started to implement key steps to rationalize the energy subsidy system, MENA quoted IMF’s Egypt Mission Chief Chris Jarvis earlier this month.

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

The fund forecasts Egypt’s economy 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.

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