Egypt's Parliament meets to deliberate over constitutional amendments that could allow President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to stay in office till 2034, in Cairo Egypt, Wednesday, Feb 13, 2019. (AP Photo)
CAIRO – A senior official from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) hailed on Wednesday Egypt's economic reform program, describing the country as one of the leading investment magnets in the region. 

Jihad Azour, director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the IMF, said the recent economic and legislative reform measures implemented by Egypt has made it a favourite destination for investment despite economic challenges facing world economy. Azour's remarks came during a meeting with the Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, who asserted the Egyptian government's keenness on the participation of the private sector in national projects.

Last week, Egypt received an instalment of 2 billion US dollars from the IMF as the fifth tranche of a 12-billion-dollar loan to support the country's economic reform program that started in November 2016. 

Until now, Egypt has received 10 billion dollars from the IMF loan. Egypt's economy has been suffering over the past few years because of political turmoil and relevant security issues that followed the 2011 revolt that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak. 

The country's ongoing economic reform plan is based on strict austerity measures, tax hikes and energy subsidy cuts. Despite the consequent price hikes and inflation rise, world financial institutions and research centres commended Egypt's reform steps and expected positive results in the near future.