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U.A.E. Wants Egypt To Control Budget Gap As It Delivers Aid

U.A.E. Wants Egypt To Control Budget Gap As It Delivers Aid

From Daily Star

The United Arab Emirates, which is backing Egypt with billions of dollars in aid, said its ally needs to shore up public finances and invest in infrastructure to revive an economy battered by unrest.

Sultan al-Jaber, the U.A.E. minister overseeing aid to Egypt, also urged institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to show flexibility in dealing with the new leadership in Cairo.

Saudi Arabia, supported by the U.A.E., has called for a donor conference to help Egypt pull out of the worst slowdown in two decades. The prospect of more Gulf aid helped make Egypt’s benchmark stock index the world’s best performer Thursday, adding 4.7 percent.

Jaber’s remarks come as Egyptian President-elect Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi prepares to take office next week, inheriting an economy suffering from record unemployment and one of the highest budget deficits in the region. Sisi, the former military chief who led Islamist President Mohammad Morsi’s ouster in July, has pledged to restore order and revive growth.

“Key to this economic recovery is an effective fiscal consolidation program that will restore the confidence of domestic and foreign investors by putting public finances back on a sustainable path,” Jaber said in an e-mailed response to questions on June 4. Egypt also needs a “comprehensive investment program to support growth through infrastructure projects and major investment,” he said.

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Written by Mahmoud Habboush, Mariam Fam/ Read more at Daily Star