Failure is no longer an option for Egypt, says paper

ABU DHABI: As Egyptians look forward to a better future, its government should ensure that funds are spent well in a transparent way to improve the country’s economy, a local newspaper said Saturday.

“However, the government should also fast-track economic reforms that will help the return of the domestic investors, attract foreign direct investment and generate employment a ticking bomb that has been a key ingredient in the Arab Spring,” the English language Gulf News daily said in an editorial comment on Egypt’s negotiation for a US$4.8 billion five-year loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) An IMF deal would help Egypt to add credibility to economic reforms needed to restore investor confidence, the paper noted.

Failure is no longer an option for Egypt, it said, as Egyptian people took to the streets at the beginning of the last year to overthrow the three-decade-old regime of Hosni Mubarak, “not just to change the old guard, but to elect a democratic government that will unlock potential for economic growth, social development and eventually improve living conditions of the millions who have been ignored by the previous regimes.

Egypt faces considerable challenges, including the need to restart growth and reduce budget and balance of payments deficits, IMF Managing Director Christian Lagarde was quoted as saying following her meeting with Egyptian leaders.

Getting the country’s economy back on track and raising the living standards for all will not be an easy task, according to the paper which said the Egyptian people have legitimate expectations for a better life and greater social justice.