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Go Tell It on the Mountain: Battle of the Flesh

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1- Sommet arabe de développement économique et social de Riyad
Les dirigeants arabes s'engagent à promouvoir les investissements interarabes
Les dirigeants arabes, réunis mardi à Riyad dans le cadre du troisième Sommet arabe de développement économique et social, se sont engagés à promouvoir le volume des investissements interarabes de manière à contribuer au développement économique et social de la région.
Dans leur déclaration finale, les chefs d'État ont souligné avoir adopté la convention unifiée pour l'investissement des capitaux arabes dans les pays arabes. Ils ont précisé que cette convention a été amendée pour se conformer à l'évolution de la situation sur les scènes arabe, régionale et internationale, réunir les conditions propices pour augmenter le volume des investissements interarabes et pour faire du monde arabe une zone attractive pour les investissements.
Les dirigeants arabes ont, dans ce sens, appelé le secteur privé arabe à tirer profit des avantages mis en place dans le cadre de cette convention en vue de contribuer au développement économique arabe global, soulignant leur engagement à créer un climat d'investissement propice et à élaborer des législations nationales qui contribueront à attirer davantage d'investissements et permettront une exploitation optimale des potentialités dont dispose la région. Consciente de l'importance du développement de l'action arabe commune et de l'amélioration des conditions de vie des citoyens, la Déclaration de Riyad a insisté sur la nécessité de renforcer la capacité des institutions de l'action arabe commune.
À cet égard, les chefs d'État ont accueilli favorablement l'initiative du Souverain saoudien Abdallah Ibn Abdelaziz pour augmenter le capital des institutions financières arabes de plus de 50%, en vue de leur permettre de répondre aux besoins de développement de plus en plus croissants et de contribuer efficacement au développement économique et social dans les pays arabes. Ils ont de même insisté sur l'impératif d'augmenter de plus de 50% le capital des compagnies arabes conjointes dans l'objectif de les aider à monter de nouveaux projets productifs en partenariat avec le secteur privé et créer davantage de postes d'emploi.
La Déclaration de Riyad a également appelé à œuvrer pour renforcer la complémentarité arabe sur le plan économique et à créer de nouveaux postes d'emploi en vue de réduire le taux de pauvreté dans la région. Les chefs d'État ont également réitéré l'engagement à mettre en œuvre les décisions prises lors des sommets de Koweït en 2009 et de Charm El Cheikh (Égypte) en 2011, tout en exprimant leur satisfaction quant au progrès accompli dans la réalisation des projets de développement adoptés.
Le Sommet, auquel S.M. le Roi Mohammed VI était représenté par S.A.R. le Prince Moulay Rachid, a souligné la nécessité d'accélérer la mise en œuvre de toutes les résolutions antérieures, en saluant les mesures prises pour l'activation du rôle du fonds de financement des petites et moyennes entreprises dans les pays arabes.

2- Egypte-FMI : La difficile quête d’un programme acceptable
20-02-2013

Un groupe d’économistes égyptiens et d’officiels est actuellement en train d’élaborer un nouveau programme de réformes afin de le présenter aux experts du Fonds Monétaire International (FMI). Le nouveau programme renfermera une hausse des taxes ainsi qu’une baisse des subventions. Toutefois, le ministère des Finances a refusé de donner des détails sur le nouveau programme. L’assistant du ministre Hani Qadri a souligné à un groupe de journalistes que les «fondements »de l’ancien programme restaient les mêmes et qu’il s’agissait de reporter les dates d’application de quelques mesures.
Le dernier programme a été approuvé par le FMI fin 2012. Cependant, un accord pour obtenir un prêt de 4,8 milliards de dollars n’a pas été signé en raison de l’instabilité politique dans le pays. Le programme de réformes n’a jamais été rendu public. En décembre 2012, les Egyptiens ont connu quelques-unes de ces mesures quand Morsi a signé(en tant que législateur temporaire remplaçant le Parlement dissous) un décret de loi pour augmenter la taxe sur la vente d’une vingtaine de produits. Une mesure qui a été attribuée aux exigences du FMI.
Quelques semaines après, la Banque Centrale a abandonné sa politique de soutien de la livre égyptienne, menant à sa dépréciation de plus de 15 %. Les deux mesures ont causé une hausse des prix et une grogne sociale, conduisant le président à nommer un nouveau ministre des Finances et plus tard un nouveau gouverneur de la Banque Centrale.
Réduire le déficit budgétaire
Le changement des responsables ne signifie pourtant pas de nouvelles politiques. Selon Hassan Malek, président de l’Egypt Business Development Association et conseiller informel du président Morsi, le gouvernement a pris des mesures pour réduire le déficit budgétaire et des «mesures plus dures »auront lieu après les élections parlementaires, a-t-il révélé à l’agence Reuters, le lundi 18 février. «La population comprend maintenant qu’il y a un prix à payer pour obtenir le prêt. Nous avons déjà vu une hausse des taxes, nous avons augmenté les prix de quelques produits pétroliers avec en plus la dévaluation de la livre égyptienne », dit Malek, qui pense que la monnaie nationale connaîtra plus de dévaluation. Mais il espère que le gouvernement aboutira à un accord avec le FMI avant les élections législatives.
Plusieurs partis politiques ont refusé le recours à l’endettement auprès du FMI et appellent en revanche à un programme de réformes multipliant l’investissement public, avec un accent sur la justice sociale et la création d’emplois alors que le chômage ne cesse d’accroître (voir chiffre de la semaine, ci-dessous). «FMI ou pas, il devrait y avoir un programme de développement économique pour l’Egypte », souligne Abdel-Fattah Al-Guébali, conseiller au ministère de la Planification. Il plaide pour un programme prenant en considération les Egyptiens les plus démunis qui paieront davantage à cause des «réformes indispensables ».
Plus d’un membre appartenant au groupe d’économistes qui élaborent les nouvelles réformes estiment indispensable la baisse du déficit budgétaire. «Il faut réduire le déficit budgétaire, surtout après toutes les failles des deux dernières années de l’après-révolution », explique Abdallah Chéhata, conseiller du ministre des Finances et responsable du dossier économique au Parti Liberté et justice (islamiste). Chéhata accuse par exemple le gouvernement d’Al-Ganzouri d’embaucher plus d’un demi-million de fonctionnaires, dont des diplômés universitaires en 2006. «Il sera très difficile de réduire ces dépenses publiques. 36 milliards de L.E. ont été dépensées hors budget planifié en 2011-2012 », indique Chéhata.
Si la baisse du déficit public est au menu des réformes, d’autres sujets constituent une pierre d’achoppement dans l’équipe, «comme la réforme fiscale et les subventions », a-t-il ajouté. Selon Chéhata, le programme comporte deux objectifs parallèles : encourager la croissance et réduire le déficit budgétaire. Il n’a pas expliqué comment les réformes permettront de réactiver l’économie.
En ce qui concerne le déficit, l’équipe d’experts discute de la baisse des subventions à l’énergie qui coûtent au budget plus de 100 milliards de L.E. par an. «Les subventions au gasoil (absorbant plus du quart de cette somme) vont être probablement coupées mais pas tout de suite », précise une autre source de l’équipe. «Même le gasoil subventionné destiné au secteur de l’hôtellerie et des restaurants a été remis à plus tard », révèle la source.
Le Parti Liberté et justice au pouvoir, qui vise à reporter les prochaines législatives dans deux mois, craint de prendre des mesures peu populaires avant les élections, car «la population a souffert ces derniers mois », souligne Chéhata. Il ajoute que ceux qui subiront les conséquences de la libéralisation des prix de l’énergie doivent être compensés. «La recherche de plus de ressources à travers les taxes doit aller en parallèle avec la compensation de la population pour ne pas nuire à la croissance. Mais cela ne fait pas encore le consensus entre les différents membres de l’équipe », confie Chéhata. Un autre point de différend est la hausse des taxes sur les revenus et les taxes sur les ventes. «Les ratios de ces taxes sont sur la table des négociations », révèle une autre source de l’équipe qui garde l’anonymat, en notant qu’il ne peut dévoiler plus de détails avant que le programme ne soit finalisé dans quelques jours.
Le temps presse. «L’Egypte espère pouvoir obtenir un total de prêts extérieurs à hauteur de 14 milliards de dollars, mais cette somme dépend de l’accord avec le FMI », a annoncé le ministre de la Planification, Achraf Al-Arabi. Le ministre prévoit un taux de croissance de 3,5 % pour l’exercice qui se termine fin juin 2013. Le second semestre a connu une croissance de 2,4 % seulement.…...

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