Lebanon is set to resume negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this week on a $4 billion loan and an economic reform program, according to the Lebanese economy minister.
Amin Salam told in an interview that official negotiations with the IMF will begin on Monday.
The Arab country is attempting to reach an agreement with the global financial institution to exit the severe economic and financial crisis that has gripped the country since late 2019. “The negotiations will begin following the conclusion of preparatory discussions on the IMF’s requested figures for the extent of financial and banking sector losses,” Salam said.
Salam, who is also a member of the government’s negotiating body led by Deputy Prime Minister Saadeh al-Shami, estimated the losses at approximately $69 billion. Lebanon and the IMF began negotiations on an aid program in May 2020. They were suspended in August, but resumed last October, following the formation of a new government led by Najib Mikati.
Salam stated that due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the upcoming talks will take place virtually. Negotiations will center on the recovery strategy, economic growth, and reform, as well as the fiscal year 2022 budget, he said.
Salam added that “there are numerous numbers and details that the recovery plan requires.”