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Bank Group and Egyptian International Cooperation Ministry officials on Monday in Cairo held a seminar on "Financing Options and Opportunities". The seminar aimed at sharing good practices to promote private sector development in Egypt, promoting a better understanding among Egyptian private sector players and their public sector partners, reviewing priority sectors identified by Egyptian authorities for private sector investment and discussing potential private sector business opportunities.
Opening the event, Bank Group private sector development director, Tim Turner, highlighted the role of the private sector in aiding growth. He used the occasion to present the Bank’s comparative advantage with concrete examples of results achieved to date. He explained the Bank Group’s local currency lending through a currency exchange company (TCX) which caught the attention of many participants.
He presented the Bank Group’s private sector strategy and financial products at the seminar and this helped participants to familiarize themselves with Bank Group guiding principles and Bank Group private sector financing criteria.
Mr. Turner also shed light on the issue of limited access to financing for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), recent improvements in the business climate, especially with regard to licensing, and the continued need for the promotion of women economic empowerment. He focused on the promotion of women enterprise growth and the achievements of the Arab Women Investor Associations.
Speaking on the occasion, the director general of Egypt’s Social Fund for Development, Hanaa El Hilaly, gave a comprehensive overview of the fund’s contribution to poverty alleviation and job creation efforts in the country through support to SMEs.
The meeting, which was attended by Egypt’s International Cooperation Minister, Tallat Abdel Malak, brought together some 150 participants including government officials, private sector operators, entrepreneurs and commercial bank representatives as well as Egyptian decision-makers.
It enabled other development partners including, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Finance Cooperation (IFC), the Islamic Development Bank and the Arab Fund also presented their financial products.
The AfDB began operations in Egypt in 1974. To date, its commitments in the country stand at about US$ 3.73 billion in 50 operations.
Recent Bank Group operations include a US$ 500 million loan to the country in July 2006 for comprehensive structural and financial reforms initiated by the country's government. This was the highest amount ever approved by the AfDB for any of its regional member countries. In December 2007, the private sector arm of the AfDB approved a US$ 150 million loan to Damietta Container Terminal located in the country's Mediterranean coast.