Italy to provide Egypt with €45 million for SMBs
Italian Government Building - AP

CAIRO: Ministry of Trade and Industry Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour negotiated Thursday with the Italian government to provide Egypt with €45 million for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), several media outlets reported.

Abdel Nour declared that the sum of money will be allocated to poor regions especially districts in Upper Egypt, Youm7 reported.

The trade minister signed Thursday a cooperation protocol with the social fund and four governorates, stating that the social fund agreed with the European Union that the World Bank will provide Egypt with €67 million for small and medium enterprises.

According to Amwal Al Ghad website, the Social Fund for Development (SFD) in Egypt held talks with the European Union at the beginning of Aug. to provide Egypt with €67 million worth of finance allocated to “community development and labor-intensive projects.”

The talks are in the framework of a 2012 agreement with the World Bank to provide Egypt with $300 million in order to finance “community development projects in Egyptian governorates,” according to statements for Secretary General of SFD Hanaa El Hilaly to Amwal Al Ghad newspaper on Aug. 25, adding that Egypt already attained $300 million at the beginning of 2014.

In the field of small enterprises, Italy has presented a number of simplified loans to Egypt and cooperation in the credit sector has totaled to 22.5 million euro ($30.1 million), the Ministry of International Cooperation and Planning stated in a statement issued last February.

In July, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini to discuss the latest regional developments and ways to enhance such bilateral cooperation, according to Ahram Online.

At the beginning of August, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met Matteo Renzi, Prime Minister of Italy, and the current president of the European Union, to discuss the situation in the Middle East, especially developments of the Israeli aggression on Gaza.

Additionally reporting by Samah Labib

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