The EBRD and the Arab Republic of Egypt have signed an agreement in Cairo which is an important first step for the EBRD to set up a permanent Resident Office in the country after ratification by the Shura Council.
The agreement was signed by the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Dr Amr Darrag, representing Egypt and Mrs Hildegard Gacek, the EBRD’s Managing Director of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region.
Hildegard Gacek said: “Egypt is in need of foreign direct investment and the EBRD is ready to provide this support with a particular focus on Egypt’s private companies. The EBRD will engage in many sectors in Egypt, but we will be putting a special emphasis on developing the local SME sector and supporting energy efficiency projects.”
The EBRD has been active in Egypt since 2012 through its temporary office in Cairo. To date the Bank has signed three transactions with an aggregate volume of €29 million: investing in manufacturing, a wastewater treatment plant and a regional private equity fund. The EBRD has also to date provided up to 50 direct technical support projects for local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who benefited from advice by top local and international consultants.
The EBRD responded to a call by the international community to extend its mandate to Jordan, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia in 2011, after the events of the “Arab Spring”. Egypt originally joined the Bank as a shareholder in 1991, when the EBRD was created to help the new post-communist countries on their roads to democracy and the market economy.
The EBRD’s first permanent Resident Office in the region was opened last week in Tunisia.