Minister: Egypt’s foreign debts within safe limits

Egypt's foreign debts remain within the safe limits of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank standards, Planning and International Cooperation Minister Fayza Abouelnaga said Monday.

In a press statement, Abouelnaga said the total of Egypt's foreign debts stood at US$33.694 billion as of June 2010, equal to 15.5 percent of the country's gross national product (GNP).

The amount marks an increase of 16.2 percent from fiscal year 2008/2009. She said the World Bank lists Egypt among the less-indebted countries.

The minister said an annual report by Egypt's Central Auditing Organization had also stressed on the safety of foreign debts.

According to IMF and World Bank standards, foreign debts are considered at a secure point if they do not surpass 48 percent of a country's GNP.

Abouelnaga attributed the safety of Egypt's foreign debts to the country's well-guided borrowing policies, saying that the government does not apply for loans before consulting its international cooperation bodies and obtaining approval from the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

Earlier this year, the Egyptian government agreed with the IMF on a US$3.2 billion loan, but the SCAF rejected the agreement to avoid increasing public debt.

Last month, the Egyptian government renewed its request for the same amount, but the IMF declared earlier this week that it will impose more stringent conditions on loans to Egypt, slamming the government for hesitating to accept the loan.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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