Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Amer: IMF Takes Egyptian Model As Example to World

Thu 10 Sep 2020 | 02:05 AM
Taarek Refaat

Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) takes the Egyptian model in economic reform as an example to be followed by the world, indicating that Egypt received $2 billion from the organization will receive another $6 billion.

In a televised interview, on Wednesday with TV anchor Ahmed Mousa on the Sada el-Balad channel, Amer attributed the successful economic reforms initiated by the government in 2016 to political stability and mutual trust between President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and the Egyptian people.

He added that Egypt is the only country whose currency is gaining momentum during the corona crisis.

Despite the decline in global currency values by 20-30% due to the economic repercussions of the virus, the value of the Egyptian pound rose by 1.4%, and a total of $35 billion was pumped into the Egyptian market since the spread of the deadly virus, Amer pointed out.

He added that under Sisi, Egypt received $431 billion from the global markets, and expatriate remittance flows increased from $18 billion to $30 billion.

Amer said that he took over the post of central bank governor in November 2015, a critical period in which the country's economy needed urgent surgery to survive the economic meltdown.

He noted that President Sisi was closely following the financial and economic situation after the House of Representatives approved a decision to resort to the IMF and reduce the salaries of diplomatic missions during the same year.

In an overview of the disastrous economic conditions before the decision to liberalize the currency in November 2016, Amer said that the country's cash reserves did not exceed $800 million at that time, while the total cost of fuel imports was $1 billion per month.

"Ahead of the July 30 Revolution in 2013, the Muslim Brotherhood presented a disastrous program to the IMF, especially after the enactment of huge increases in the minimum wage," CBE governor said.

He added that the changes introduced by the terrorist organization to the central bank’s operating system created a major crisis before it resorted to borrowing from the International Monetary Fund.

Amer referred to Moody's reports, which kept Egypt's credit rating at B2 with a stable outlook and positively affected the government's successful efforts to boost foreign reserves.

The governor denied the allegations of changing the shape of the banknotes, adding that a new material will be added to the paper material to prolong its life, namely in the 10 and 20 pound categories.

He indicated that the new banknotes would be printed at the Central Bank's printing house in the New Administrative Capital next year.

Amer emphasized that Egypt had passed the most difficult stage in the economic reform program.

He added that the Central Bank had taken some measures aimed at supporting the Egyptian economy, including a EGP 100 billion initiative to support the private sector and another EGP 400 billion to support the state's public finances.

Amer said that President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi subsequently increased the private sector initiative to reach EGP 200 billion, with an 8% subsidized interest, in an attempt to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

He concluded that the Central Bank participated in supporting projects and developing sectors with an amount of EGP 412 billion, in addition to EGP 150 billion provided to the implementation of social housing plans.