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Al-Mashat: EIB signs EUR 800 million Financing Agreement with NBE to Empower SMEs and Ensure a Resilient Post-COVID-19 Recovery

Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, announced that the European Investment Bank signed an agreement worth 800 million euros with the National Bank of Egypt to finance small and medium enterprises in order to meet their financing needs and building their resilience amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the minister added that the agreement between the two banks comes within a larger agreement approved by the European Investment Bank worth 1.9 billion euros, where 1.1 billion euros will be provided for the transport sector and 800 million euros for small and medium enterprises. Al-Mashat emphasized the importance of the partnership with the European Investment Bank in investing in Egypt’s future and pushing forward with the 2030 National Agenda and the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 8 for Decent Work through supporting technological upgrading, access to financial services, innovation, and encouraging the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises. Since the start of this year, Ministry of International Cooperation signed several agreements with the EIB, including an agreement worth 120 million euros to develop the Alexandria wastewater treatment plant. Al Mashat explained that this comes in line with the ministry’s strategy to strengthen Egypt’s economic diplomacy. Collaboration with development partners maps ODA financing with the 17 UN SDGs and centers them around the global partnerships narrative with its 3 main pillars: people at the core, projects in action and purpose as the driver. Last July, the minister held a virtual meeting with Flavia Palanza, Director of Operations for Neighboring Countries at the European Investment Bank, to discuss future cooperation between Egypt and the Bank, particularly in regards to financing transport project to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all. The meeting also discussed cooperation in the agricultural sector, as well as the bank’s willingness to cooperate in the field of health to help Egypt overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and building the resilience of small and medium enterprises. It is worth noting that the bilateral strategic partnership between Egypt and the European Investment Bank dates back to 1979, and includes various projects in many sectors to support social and economic development and create job opportunities in the country, with funds amounting to approximately € 9.8 billion and the current portfolio amounting to around 2.3 billion euros.