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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Al Mashat: EBRD Supports Egypt's Private Sector with $532 Mln


Wed 12 Jul 2023 | 12:23 PM
Dr. Rania Al Mashat, Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation
Dr. Rania Al Mashat, Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation
Rana Atef

In continuation of the efforts made through international partnerships to empower the private sector in Egypt and to provide concessional development financing via cooperation with multilateral and bilateral development partners to meet development priorities and implement the pillars of the country strategy between Egypt and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) from 2022-2027, the bank approved soft development financing that is worth more than $532 million for private sector institutions in Egypt.

The EBRD Board of Directors also approved a development financing of $100 million for Banque Misr to enhance financing directed to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in a way that supports inclusive and sustainable growth, and to increase financing directed to MSMEs in areas that have less access to financial services.

In the same context, the bank approved a new financing for the Mediterrania Capital IV Fund worth €30.2 million, equivalent to $32.5 million. 

The fund aims to direct investments of €350 million in investments for medium-sized companies in the health care, retail, financial services and manufacturing sectors to develop the economy in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, paying special attention to companies led by women to enhance their access to the necessary economic opportunities.

It is worth noting that Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of Cooperation witnessed a signing with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) last March to provide €25 million for the fund during the visit of the IFC Vice President Sergio Pimenta.

In her comment, Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the EBRD, highlighted the close partnership with the bank and private sector institutions in Egypt under the umbrella of the joint country strategy for 2022-2027, which works to achieve 3 main goals, including strengthening competitiveness, increasing growth rates and stimulating the role of the private sector in development, noting that more than 78% of the EBRD’s investments in Egypt are already directed to the private sector in various fields. 

This reflects the role of international partnerships in unlocking different horizons for the participation of the private sector in development and enhancing its role in achieving comprehensive growth and sustainable development.

The Minister stated that the relations between Egypt and the EBRD are reflected in strengthening development efforts in many sectors, especially SMEs, combating climate change, promoting job opportunities, and stimulating the private sector in general. 

The bank provided financing during the past year worth €737 million for the private sector to support SMEs, while the bank’s total investments in Egypt amounted to €1.3 billion in 2022, to come at the forefront of the countries of operations in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region.

Al-Mashat indicated that the Ministry of International Cooperation is keen to place the private sector as a main and effective pillar in all strategies with multilateral and bilateral development partners and international institutions, especially in implementing the country’s priorities aimed at expanding the base of private sector participation, appreciating the partnership with the EBRD in the implementation of many projects. This includes the first dry port in the 6th of October City, the implementation of the Benban Solar Energy Complex in Aswan, the development of metro lines, in addition to the expansion of climate action projects and the green hydrogen strategy.

Since the start of the EBRD's operations in Egypt in 2012, investments have amounted to more than €10 billion to implement 163 projects, more than 78% of which are directed to the private sector.

It is worth noting that the Minister of International Cooperation recently participated in the EBRD’s annual meetings in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, and Egypt was also selected as the Vice-Chairman of the upcoming annual meetings for the year 2024 that will be held in Armenia. While in Uzbekistan, the Minister held several meetings with the President of the Bank, Odile Renaud-Basso, and the various EBRD departments to discuss the future cooperation portfolio, in addition to approving the Board of Directors' decisions to expand in sub-Saharan Africa and Iraq.