European Bank for Reconstruction and Development - Courtesy of EBRD Facebook page
CAIRO – 14 November 2017: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed Tuesday a $30 million loan agreement with the Arab African International Bank (AAIB), to support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt.
The SME credit line will help AAIB to further expand its SME lending and will contribute to increased access to finance for small businesses in Egypt, the lender said in a statement after the signing.
Expressing his pleasure to support Egypt's SMEs, EBRD President, Sir Suma Chakrabarti, said "supporting private SMEs in Egypt is one of our main priorities as they play a key role in economic growth."
While SMEs shape around 90 percent of all firms in Egypt and provide the majority of jobs, their access to finance remains a challenge.
“We are very pleased to expand our SME financing in Egypt via AAIB, with whom we are partnering for the first time," he added.
There is a consensus that supporting SMEs is a priority for Egypt’s socio-economic growth, yet there is also an urgent need to understand and meet the specific requirements of this segment, Hassan Abdalla, vice president and managing director of AAIB, said.
“The new SME funding facility extended to the Arab African International Bank by the EBRD will create powerful synergies and will enable AAIB to support SMEs with the same customized solutions that have distinguished our support for corporate clients over half a century," Abdalla added.
Since 2012 to date, Egypt which is a founding member of the EBRD, has been receiving investments worth €3 billion in 66 projects in the country.
The EBRD’s investments focus on financial sector, agribusiness, and manufacturing and services, as well as infrastructure projects such as power, municipal water and wastewater services, and support for transport services.