EBRD boosts small firms in Egypt
US$ 30 million loan to the Arab African International Bank
AA – The EBRD is further supporting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt with a US$ 30 million loan to the Arab African International Bank (AAIB).
The EBRD’s 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. Although SMEs account for over 90 per cent of all firms in Egypt and provide the majority of jobs, their access to finance remains limited.
EBRD President, Sir Suma Chakrabarti, said: “We are very pleased to expand our SME financing in Egypt via AAIB, with whom we are partnering for the first time. Supporting private SMEs in Egypt is one of our main priorities as they play a key role in economic growth.”
Hassan Abdalla, Vice President and Managing Director of AAIB, commented: “While there is a consensus that supporting SMEs is a priority for Egypt’s socio-economic growth, there is also an urgent need to understand and respond to the specific requirements of this segment. 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 customised solutions that have distinguished our support for corporate clients over half a century.”
A comprehensive technical assistance package is expected to support AAIB to develop its SME financing services, and strengthen its skillsets and competitiveness.
Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD and has been receiving funding since 2012. To date, the Bank has invested over €3 billion in 66 projects in the country. The EBRD’s areas of investment include the 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. The Bank has also provided technical assistance to more than 600 small and medium-sized local enterprises.
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