By Islam Zayed
A high-ranking source at the Ministry of Finance (MOF) revealed that the government is working on several projects regarding relief of public debt, reduction of budget’s deficit and reforming the Egyptian economy, all in parallel. The Foreign Relations Department at the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MPIC) continues to negotiate the Debt Exchange Program with creditors, particularly those of the largest shares in the foreign debt.
The source added that the Paris Club Countries are owed the largest percentage of the debt, reaching around 41%, such as Germany and France. In addition, a debt-swap agreement was signed with Italy in return for several investments of equal amounts to be promoted in Egypt.
In addition, negotiations with the European Union member states that focus on swapping debts with development projects in the amount of $1 billion. The money would finance projects in agricultural, irrigation, Social Fund for Development (SFD) projects, and SMEs.
The source also added that the MPIC prepared a debt exchange programme with Switzerland that amounts to $150 million to implement 50 small projects. In addition, another programme is negotiated with Germany to support development projects and the public budget. There is also another programme with France in progress.
Regarding the US debt exchange programme, the source confirmed that the government of the United States has promised to reconsider its initial rejection to the programme, stressing that the US is prepared to renegotiate the $1 billion debt swap dossier.