Western advisers are drawing up plans for reshaping the Egyptian economy, sources said, with the apparent blessing of president-elect Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who so far has spoken only vaguely in public about reviving the state's finances.
The driving force behind the consulting project is the United Arab Emirates, which along with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait has showered Egypt with billions of dollars in aid since Sisi removed the Muslim Brotherhood from power last year, sources familiar with the exercise and businessmen told Reuters.
If Egypt were to accept reforms proposed by US consultancy Strategy and international investment bank Lazard, this could be used as a basis for reopening talks on a loan deal with the International Monetary Fund which ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi failed to seal, unwilling to impose unpopular reforms.
Gulf allies opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood have extended a lifeline exceeding $12 billion in cash and petroleum products to help Egypt stave off economic collapse.
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