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Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Praise from IMF, World Bank on Egypt’s economic reforms

**#3 REPORT FROM NEW YORK- Praise from IMF, World Bank on the economic reforms: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and senior members of his administration are in New York for the United Nations General Assembly meeting. There, the president met on Sunday with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, who issued a statement yesterday praising Egypt’s economic reforms.

Key takeaways from Lagarde’s statement: “President El Sisi and I discussed the good progress under Egypt’s economic reform program supported by the IMF’s USD 12 bn Extended Fund Facility. Egypt’s economy is showing strong signs of recovery, and its economic growth is among the highest in the Middle East. … We agreed on the importance of capitalizing on Egypt’s macroeconomic gains to advance the authorities’ home-grown structural reforms. These reforms will help achieve more sustainable, inclusive and private-sector led growth which will help create jobs for Egypt’s young population, while also ensuring adequate resources are available for social protection. I reiterated the Fund’s commitment to support Egypt and its people.”

That’s the right message ahead of an IMF delegation visit next month to conduct the lender’s fourth review of how the Sisi administration is doing with the implementation of the reform program.

World Bank also gave Egypt props: World Bank President Jim Yong Kim lauded the progress Egypt has made on its economic reform program during a meeting with President El Sisi, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr, and Trade and Industry Minister Amr Nassar, according to an Ittihadiya statement. Kim reiterated the bank’s support for the remainder of Egypt’s program and discussed ways to attract fresh foreign investment and create more private sector jobs.

Trump praises Egypt’s war on terror in sit-down with El Sisi: Sisi sat down yesterday with US President Donald Trump yesterday. The Donald piled on the praise for the “outstanding job” Egypt has done fighting terrorism, according to a White House readout of the two presidents’ remarks. El Sisi vowed to eliminate terrorism altogether with the US’ support, and the two leaders stressed that US-Egypt relations have “never been stronger.” Trump also noted that the US is “working with Egypt on many different fronts, including military and trade. And whatever else you can work, we’re working. And we’re getting along great.”

El Sisi met overnight with top US business leaders, according to an Ittihadiya statement. The president told them that Egypt is keen on improving business ties with the US and pointed to national projects and infrastructure as a means for companies to bolster their investments in Egypt. Among those present was Apache CEO John J Christmann.

Meeting with Netanyahu?El Sisi also was expected to meet yesterday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. We have yet to see any news emerging on that front.

More diplomacy in NYC: El Sisi also had sit downs with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiadeson the sidelines of the UNGA.

Also in New York, the president gave a speech addressing the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, which was held as part of the UNGA to celebrate the 100th year of Mandela’s birth, according to a readout of the speech.

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