The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) considers Egypt as the spearhead of its success in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region, EBRD’s First Vice President, Jurgen Rigterink, told Daily News Egypt.
“We hope our investments will be above €1bn again in 2019,” Rigterink said, noting that the bank has invested $5.5bn in Egypt since the beginning of its operations in 2012, of which 70% were directed to the private sector.
“We have a very diversified portfolio including small and big infrastructure projects. Our aim is helping entrepreneurs, not only by finance, but also giving them a stamp of approval that their businesses are up to the international standards,” he elaborated.
Rigterink has visited Egypt on 4-6 November, when he signed some agreements with the private sector, and held meetings with senior government officials and business representatives, including the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, and the Minister of Public Enterprise Sector, Hisham Tawfik.
Moreover, the EBRD announced providing a loan of $15m to the Arab African International Bank (AAIB) to support energy efficiency in Egyptian private small and medium-sized enterprises.
Co-financed by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the loan will increase investments in the green economy in Egypt.
Loans will cover investments in green technologies, such as thermal insulation, photovoltaic solar panels, geothermal heat pumps, and water-efficient irrigation systems. Businesses can identify typical green technologies through the Technology Selector.
The loans are complemented by the European Union (EU) funds to help companies identify the most efficient equipment or technologies and verify their use once they are installed.
In a further step, the bank is supporting the import and export of green technologies under the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme. Through the programme, it provides guarantees to international confirming banks, taking the political and commercial payment risk of international trade transactions undertaken by banks in the bank’s invested economies.
The funding is provided under Egypt Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (SEFF) that supports sustainable energy projects via local partner banks. The programme is contributing towards building a green economy in accordance with the EBRD Green Economy Transition approach.