Egypt is pushing to tie up a crucial financial package from the International Monetary Fund, IMF, at annual meetings in Washington this week.
It also plans to stem a currency crisis that has restricted imports and sparked market unease over foreign debt repayments.
It would be recalled that Egypt began talks with the IMF for a financial support package in March, soon after the Ukrainian crisis threw its already unsettled finances into further disarray and led foreign investors to pull nearly $20 billion out of Egyptian treasury markets in a matter of weeks according to media reports.
IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva on October 3, affirmed that Egypt and the fund were close to a deal.
Egypt’s newly appointed Central Bank Governor, Hassan Abdalla, and long-servicing finance minister Mohamed Maait are leading the talks in Washington, where a number of countries squeezed by global pressures are seeking support.
But the details of an IMF deal remain unclear. It would likely include commitments to allow the currency to move freely against foreign currencies, to give the private sector more room to participate in the economy, and a vigorous sale of state assets, economists say.