Egypt and European Investment Bank (EIB): A 40 year-long partnership to improve people’s lives

European Investment Bank Vice President Dario Scannapieco will visit Egypt later this week to participate in the Invest in Africa 2019rdquo; Forum and mark the 40 year anniversary of local operations of the world’s largest multilateral financial institution in Egypt.

Since 1979, the Bank of the European Union (EU) invested more than EUR 9.2 Billion and disbursed around EUR 6.8 Billion in Egypt to improve the socio-economic infrastructure and support private sector development. It all started with an EIB loan signature with the Suez Canal Authority 40 years ago to support the deepening and widening of this strategic canal. In 2003, the EIB opened its first office in the region in Cairo to foster the relationship with Egypt.

In 2019, so far the EIB signed total investments of EUR 350 million in the public sector (supporting the Cairo Metro Line 1) and another EUR 380 million to support SMEs and Midcaps in the private sector. Further signatures by year-end are expected to be the Alexandria West Wastewater Treatment Plant (loan of up to EUR 120 million) and further support to SMEs through Banque Misr (around EUR 500 million).

Today we celebrate 40 years of operations during which we have always been present in Egypt, in good times and in difficult ones. This year, we expect to invest more than EUR 1 billion to support priority public infrastructure projects and small and medium enterprises. The longstanding relationship of the EIB with Egypt has always been for a good cause: to improve people’s lives, the quality of public services and the general business environment in Egypt. Over all these years, EIB has been providing its worldwide expertise by sector, knowledge of the region and competitive funding to ensure the sustainability and competitiveness of the projects financed.rdquo; said Dario Scannapieco.

Ivan Surkoscaron;, Ambassador of the EU to Egypt, said Egypt is our key partner and its sustainable stability and development is essential for all Egyptians, for the region and for the EU. On the 40th anniversary of the inception of EIB operations in Egypt, I am happy to say that the EU supports ongoing projects through the EIB with grants that amount to more than EUR 109 million. These projects cover important areas that have positive direct impact on the livelihoods of Egyptians such as energy, water and sanitation, environment and transport.rdquo;

The EIB is the lending arm of the European Union owned by its 28 Member States and is the world’s biggest multilateral lender. Since the start of its operations inMarch 1958 it has invested in thousands of companies and projects, from start-ups to massive programmes. So far the Bank has financed more than 11900 sustainable investment projects in around 162 countries. In Egypt, the Bank financed more than 100 large scale projects, and hundreds of companies through the Bank’s local partners.

Worldwide (in EU and outside of it) the EIB works to support economically, financially, socially and environmentally sustainable investment projects, with the aim of achieving four main objectives: infrastructure development, fostering innovation, supporting SMEs and stimulating climate action. EIB financing always offers favourable conditions, both in terms of interest rates and maturities.

In the Mediterranean region, the EIB operates based on an external lending mandate provided by the EU, and hence follows the overall Partnership Priorities of the EU. For Egypt the priorities at present include Economic modernization, Cooperation on Foreign policy and Enhancing stability. Many EIB projects in Egypt are focused on Economic Modernization and include EU grants for project preparation and implementation. The blending of loans and grants allows EIB to ensure the financial sustainability of the projects its finances, and to support the application of advanced environmental and social standards.

Source: European Investment Bank (EIB)