Egypt negotiating with G-8 countries on economic support: minister

Sahar Nasr, Minister of International Cooperation, announced that the government is continuing its negotiations with the G-8 countries to fulfill their commitments toward supporting the economic and social reform program signed by Egypt and the International Monetary Fund.

In a statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm, on the sidelines of meetings to sign a number of funding agreements with the French Development Agency, Nasr said she will visit Germany on Friday for talks on Berlin's pledges to support Egypt's economic and social reform program in the last quarter of 2016, as announced by German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her visit to Cairo. The meeting was also attended by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Minister of Health Ahmed Emad Eddin and the French Ambassador to Cairo André Parant.

Negotiations with these countries have resulted in agreements with France, Britain and Germany.

Negotiations are currently under way with Japan. As for negotiations with the rest of the group, these will be completed on the sidelines of Egypt's participation in the Spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which will be held during the second half of April in Washington, according to Nasr.

Germany and Britain pledged their share in Egypt's reform program for up to about one billion dollars, a large part of which would be allocated to finance projects listed in the state budget, or abroad.

France announced, meanwhile, that it will supporting Egypt's reform program with nearly LE5 billion, a large part of which will be allocated to projects in the areas of health, education and infrastructure.

The Deputy Minister of Finance, Ahmed Kojak, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the ministry's bodies are intensifying their efforts in coordination with the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Planning and the Central Bank of Egypt to present the state budget to the House of Representatives before the end of March.

Kojak denied that the Cabinet plans to increase government salaries by 30 percent in the new state budget. He did not rule out a possible increase in bonuses saying all options are possible until the state budget is approved.

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