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Governors vote to make Egypt formal recipient of EBRD finance

By Nibal Zgheib

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Cairo and the River Nile - EBRD and Egypt

Cumulative commitment of more than €1 billion to date

The Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has voted to make Egypt a formal recipient of finance and other support provided by the Bank.

EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said: “We are pleased with this decision which allows us to continue and expand the successful course of our activities in Egypt. To unlock Egypt’s full potential it is crucial to take a long term view and engage with investment, policy dialogue and technical cooperation. The governors’ decision allows us to deploy our tools for the benefit of the country and we stand ready to do so.”

The EBRD made its first investment in Egypt in September 2012 and has built up a cumulative commitment of more than €1 billion to date. The EBRD is committed to providing long term support for the Egyptian economy with a programme that focuses on the financial, agribusiness, municipal, infrastructure, transport and telecoms sectors, and through dedicated credit lines to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through the local banks.

The decision by the Board of Governors to make Egypt a country of operations means that all EBRD investments in the country will be financed from the ordinary capital resources of the Bank. As a country of operations, Egypt will be subject to all regular assessments the EBRD undertakes in the countries where it invests.

The EBRD is an important financial investor in Egypt with a focus on promoting the private sector, which represents 77 percent of the Bank’s total investment in the country. Projects have included a US$ 50 million loan to the National Bank of Kuwait-Egypt to support SMEs in Egypt and a US$ 20 million loan to support agricultural commodity importers and supply chain managers in the country by partly financing the working capital of Medsofts.

The EBRD is also improving the living standards of almost 500,000 Egyptian people by expanding the wastewater treatment network in the northern governorate of Kafr el-Sheikh, as well as investing in energy efficiency programmes and leading policy dialogue in the energy and oil and gas sectors to help the country improve environmental and health standards. The Bank is also developing a private sector renewable framework under the Feed in Tariff scheme to financially support private sector renewable projects. This is in addition to the Bank supporting efforts to tap Egypt’s significant potential for renewable sources of energy through technical cooperation, policy dialogue and know-how transfer.

The Bank has also developed and rolled out tailored programmes, policies and initiatives to support the role of women in the Egyptian economy, many of which are already being implemented. In October, the EBRD – together with the National Bank of Egypt – launched the first ever Women in Business programme in Egypt, aimed at strengthening the role of female entrepreneurs in the local economy.

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