US-Egypt Business Council Supports Egypt’s IMF Loan Agreement

The US-Egypt Business Council (USEBC) has announced its support for the Egypt’s IMF loan.

The USEBC chairperson John Christmann has sent an email to International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde telling her that the USEBC strongly supports the Egyptian government’s request for a $12bn loan over three years.

Christmann’s email encouraged the IMF executive board to approve the agreement, confirming that this support comes from him and on behalf of the USEBC and many of its members.

Moreover, “This loan is vital to Egypt’s economic stability and future,” said Christmann, and explained how encouraged the council is by the reforms that are part of the IMF agreement, as they will aid the growth of the private sector and will even attract more investments,” Christmann said.

This letter is supported by 39 members of the council, the board of directors and the vice chairpersons.

Christmann also said, “The successful implementation of this agreement will help Egypt’s transition to a more market-oriented economy with a robust private sector and place its economy on a path to more sustainable and necessary economic growth.”

However, many experts have remained skeptical about how much the loan could help and  the expected economic reform project with its repercussions on the Egyptian people who are asked to bear the burdens of the austerity measures.

The Egyptian government has been seeking for months to get the IMF to agree to the loan. Along this path, some have shown their support, such as the US and the Egyptian Federation of Investors Association.

During Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s visit in New Delhi, he met with United States Secretary of State John Kerry who  welcomed the Egyptian Government’s efforts to undertake critical economic reforms supported by the International Monetary Fund.

Last week, the US secretary of state spokesperson said in a press release that Washington supports Egypt in implementing the economic reforms program in the coming years, clarifying that the IMF deal will enable Egypt to achieve economic stability, enhance growth, attract foreign investment, and create job opportunities for the Egyptian welfare.

He also added that the despite the difficulty in adopting these reforms but they are essential to activate the Egyptian market, encourage the economic growth and achieve prosperity.

The United States provides Egypt with $1.3 billion in military aid annually, with the 2016 package including $150 million in economic assistance.

Recently, Egypt received in May an initial shipment of 762 mine-resistant, ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles from the United States, which will be used in army operations in North Sinai.

Despite Washington’s military and economic support to the al-Sisi regime that infers how strong the strategic relations between both countries are, Egypt’s state-owned media, indirectly led by the military according to well-known media leaks, always accuse the US of plotting conspiracies against the country.