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EBRD enhances Egypt’s agricultural commodities trade

By Nibal Zgheib

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a US$ 20 million loan, to partly finance the working capital of Medsofts, a family-owned company based in Egypt and one of the key agricultural commodity importers and supply chain managers in the country.
There is currently a large gap between the supply and demand for agricultural commodities in Egypt and, as a result, the country relies significantly on imports.
The EBRD’s US$ 20 million loan will finance Medsofts’s working capital, which is growing due to the completion of a grain-storage and handling terminal, 50 per cent-owned by Medsofts, in the port of Alexandria.
This financing will help to improve the terminal’s utilisation rate and act as an example of high logistics efficiency for ports. The terminal is the fourth privately owned port facility in Egypt, where lack of efficient port infrastructure is one of the main obstacles for grain logistics.
Gilles Mettetal, EBRD Director for Agribusiness, said: “Investing in Medsofts is an important step towards enhancing the private sector’s involvement in the agricultural commodity sector in Egypt, while also improving distribution and offering better services to clients.”
Funded by the European Union’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility and the southern and eastern Mediterranean Multi-Donor Account, technical assistance activities will also help Medsofts to implement international standards for corporate governance and risk management.
Tarek Tawfik, Shareholder and General Manager of Medsofts, said: “The EBRD loan process was very efficient. We are excited to be working with a global bank of this calibre.  The loan is a further vote of confidence in the sound investment and growth strategy of Medsofts.”
Since the beginning of the EBRD’s operations in Egypt in 2012, it has committed over €742 million to 23 projects across a wide range of sectors. The Bank has also facilitated direct technical assistance through its Small Business Support programme, which to date has benefited approximately 185 Egyptian small and medium-sized enterprises.
*Donors to the SEMED MDA include Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taipei China and the United Kingdom
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