The French Development Agency (FDA) has contributed €430mn to the Egyptian economy in 2012, the highest since the beginning of its mandate in Egypt.
Jean-Pierre Marcelli, head of the FDA Egypt, told Daily News Egypt that, “2012 has been an historical year for our action in Egypt, marking the highest contribution level that reached €430mn.” He added: “We are committed to help our partners in difficult times.”
By difficult times, he was referring to the challenges faced by the Egyptian economy, namely the budget deficit. He said the solutions are known to everyone and that the government has to make its decisions after dialogue. He explained that the IMF delayed the $4.8mn loan approval upon the government’s request because they didn’t have enough time to discuss the economic reforms with the people.
FDA, approved since the opening of its office in Cairo in 2007, credits authorisations of about €700mn for Egypt in various sectors, including transport, water and sanitation, business support, energy and others as mentioned on the institution’s website.
The French institution adopts a project based approach in extending loans, “in 2013 we will continue to finance the projects that we’ve already started,” confirmed the FDA’s head, “our top priorities are the projects of infrastructure, renewable energy (solar and wind energy) SMEs and support of projects aiming to reduce air pollution in Cairo.”
The action plan of the FDA in Egypt for the period 2012-2014 includes actions to support the sectors of employment and the private sector, improving living conditions and incomes in urban areas and the development of agricultural production.
FDA signed the implementing agreement of phase 3 of line 3 for Cairo underground last November, “FDA’s contribution of €300mn is part of a European funding, alongside with the European Union (€40mn grant from the Neighborhood Investment Facility) and the European Investment Bank (€600mn), resulting in a financing of €940mn equivalent to a loan over 25 years,” stated Marcelli.
The conditions of the loans differ according to the project, loan requests must be submitted by the Egyptian government and approved by the central bank. FDA doesn’t directly finance the private sector, but it can finance it through commercial banks like the €43mn credit line extended to the National Bank of Egypt to promote SMEs, one of FDA’s most important fields of action.
Proparco, the subsidiary of FDA, is dedicated to the financing of the private sector. With loans ranging between €2 and €50, Proparco funds private investments in all fields except real-estate and short-term projects.
The French Government authorised FDA’s intervention in Egypt in 2004. By 2005 the Agency had started project identifications. FDA and the Ministry of International Cooperation signed a Framework Agreement in April 2006, approved by presidential decree and ratified by the parliament; the agreement entered into force in February 2007.