Sun, 19 Jul 2020 - 11:42 GMT
Photo for EIB – Courtesy of Facebook official page
CAIRO – 19 July 2020: European Investment Bank’s (EIB) board of directors approved to provide Egypt with €1.9 billion in funding, Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al Mashat announced Sunday.
Al-Mashat clarified that €1.1 billion is to finance three projects in the transportation sector with the National Authority for Tunnels, adding that EIB will provide loan of € 800 million to the National Bank of Egypt in support of small and medium enterprises for the post-Covid19 recovery.
She clarified that the objective of financing the urban transport sector with € 1.1 billion is to enhance the transition from private cars to a more efficient means of transportation through improving and upgrading the urban transportation infrastructure, thereby ensuring the achievement of sustainable cities.
The projects financed within this framework include the renovation and expansion of Raml Tram in Alexandria over a total distance of 13.8 km, the renovation and development of the Abu Qir railway in Alexandria over a distance of 22 km, converting it into an electric metro, and the renovation and development of the Cairo Metro Line 2 over a distance of 23 km, according to the minister.
The Minister further ascertained that the transport sector is a priority sector for the Government of Egypt as it contributes 4.6 percent of GDP and provides approximately 6.2 percent of jobs. The railway line also serves around 500 million people annually, with around 1.4 million citizens daily.
The Ministry of International Cooperation has a current portfolio of 30 projects in the transporta-tion sector with a total official development financing of $5 billion, with several development partners including the EIB, World Bank Group, EBRD, China, Japan, Korea and France.
For his part, Head of the European Investment Bank Representation for the Near East, Alfredo Abad, said that the two projects approved by the Bank are aligned with the EIB strategy in Egypt. In addition, the urban transport projects are part of the EIB strategy to support low carbon emissions projects aligned with Paris Agreement.
“The €800 million loan to NBE is part of the Tean Europe rapid response to support SMEs in Egypt in the face of the COVID19 crisis,” he added.
“Supporting Egypt’s private sector is key in the road ahead, building for economically resilient and inclusive communities. The financing of Egypt’s small and medium enterprises; the backbone of our economy to assist their businesses and liquidity needs is a priority going forward” Al Mashat noted.
The agreements have been reached following Minister Al Mashat’s meeting with the visiting mission of the EIB to Egypt last February, under the chairmanship of Flavia Palanza, the EIB Director for EU Neighborhood countries, where they have discussed the ongoing bilateral strategic partnership between Egypt and the bank, since 1979.
“The partnership has led to the successful implementation of various projects in a a diversified portfolio of sectors to support socio-economic development and job creation. The total funding from the EIB is around €9.7 billion with a current portfolio of ongoing projects that amount to more than €2.3 billion,” Al-Mashat clarified in a statement.
The Minister further stated that the agreements was reached between both parties to scale up coop-eration in new sectors that contributed to enhancing inclusive economic growth and supporting the private sector, aligned with Egypt Vision 2030 and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
Al-Mashat pointed out that the approved funding from the EIB is in accordance to the Ministry of International Cooperations “Global Partnerships for Effective Development Cooperation” strategy that was launched in April 2020, with multilateral and bilateral development partners with a strong strategic narrative to crystallize the value proposition for Egypt in the cooperation space aimed at achieving a circular economy. “The Global Partnerships Narrative is based on three pillars: People at the Core, Projects in Action and Purpose as the Driver. The new cooperation portfolio reflect the pro-jects’ alignment with the United Nations SDGs, including SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth and Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities”.
EIB announced that it would continue to provide the necessary funding to boost inclusive economic growth, with public-private partnerships to enable scaling up of SMEs.
On July 15, EIB clarified that the €1.9 billion funding is to finance projects in Egypt as part of €16.6 billion of new financing dedicated for projects across Europe and around the world.
This includes more than €10 billion of COVID-19-related investment to improve public health, strengthen public services and back investment by companies in sectors hit by the pandemic.