Egypt and the IMF agreed a USD 12 billion loan to boost national economy and ease the serious foreign exchange crisis over the next three years. “Egypt is a strong country with great potential but it has some problems that need to be fixed urgently,” said Chris Jarvis, the IMF’s mission chief for Egypt.
These problems are quite big indeed with tourism having been hit hard again especially after the crash of flight Egypt Air 804 on May 19, 2016 – possibly a terrorist attack, the July 2016 14% jump of inflation according to official figures and the loss in value of almost 40% of the Egyptian pound (EGP) against the U.S. dollar (USD) since 2012.
In the short term the IMF’s loan is “much needed oxygen to keep Egypt’s economy alive,” Cairo-based Hussein Keshk, a Telecom Manager and a graduate of the American University in Cairo (AUC) told Cyceon. Most important will be now how Egypt spends this money because “if it’s not invested rationally then the problem will deepen,”Keshk added.
Finally the security situation, “that improved significantly except for a small area of Sinai” according to Keshk, still remains the most important criterion for both tourism and foreign investment.
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