CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met with the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Sir Suma Chakrabarti on Thursday. The meeting was also attended by senior EBRD executives, as well as the ministers of foreign affairs, investment, and international cooperation.
Sir Chakrabarti welcomed the decision by the EBRD’s board of directors to turn Egypt into a country of operation on Sept. 30. He noted that this confirms Egypt’s sound political and economic trajectory, and the confidence in Egypt’s ability to adhere to the principles of democracy, political pluralism and the market economy. These principles are enshrined in the EBRD’s founding agreement for its countries of operation.
The President of the EBRD noted that the decision by the bank’s board of directors ushers in a new phase in cooperation between the EBRD and the Egyptian government within a sustainable and stable institutional framework. This will support growth in the size and scope of the bank’s investment and activities in the promising Egyptian market, which is of strategic importance to the bank’s management due to its high profitability and large capacity in various areas. This is also due to Egypt’s pivotal importance in enhancing economic stability and development in the Middle East. Sir Chakrabarti stated that the size and scope of the bank’s investment in Egypt, since its beginning, amounts to 1.1 billion euros. He added that the bank plans to inject an additional investment of 750-800 million euros for the fiscal year 2015-2016. This will turn Egypt into the EBRD’s fourth largest recipient of investments over a very short period of time since the beginning of the bank’s activities in Egypt.
President Sisi welcomed the decision by the EBRD’s board of directors to turn Egypt into a country of operation and confirmed that Egypt is moving steadily on the path of democratic transition. He stressed that Egypt is committed to the mechanisms of the market economy, and to creating the environment for the private sector and business community to assume their responsibly in pushing forward production. The President underscored the importance of the EBRD’s role in joining Egypt in the march for economic progress and development, particularly in light of the bank’s accumulative experience in supporting the private sector, and in funding small and medium-sized institutions and joint ventures between the private and public sectors. These sectors constitute the mainstay of growth in Egypt in the coming period.
President Sisi was briefed on the bank’s strategy in Egypt over the coming period. This strategy envisages an increase in the bank’s funding of vital sectors, which are a top priority for Egypt. The strategy was formulated in coordination with all relevant authorities in Egypt. Within this context, the minister of international cooperation noted that the bank’s strategy corresponds to the needs and aims set by the government in line with the comprehensive Egyptian vision of dealing with international funding institutions, and employing their programs to achieve national targets. She highlighted two important projects that will be signed before the end of this month. The first is the establishment of a power generation plant in Damanhur at a total cost of 1.3 billion dollars, with the bank contributing with 200 million dollars. The second project is related to the Cairo metro with a bank contribution of 218 million euros.
President Sisi highly appreciated the efforts by the EBRD’s President and management during this past period. He noted that he looks forward to the added value the bank could provide to the various production and services sectors.
The preceding was a statement by the Egyptian presidency and does not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of The Cairo Post.