A cooperation protocol to provide support and development for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) was signed by Hazem Hegazy, head of retail banking and the SME department at the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), and Samir Ezzat Arif, president of the 10th of Ramadan Investors Association.
The protocol focuses on newly established projects through an integrated package of financial and non-financial services which will help these projects to market their products.
Moreover, the protocol includes coordination between the two sides to set up training programmes and workshops to familiarise these firms with the initiatives of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and to facilitate their dealings with the bank.
This protocol comes in light of the NBE’s focus on SMEs in general and industrial SME projects specifically. It represents a model for the integration efforts of the World Bank and the 10th of Ramadan Investors Association to support the industrial sector so as to enable it to produce high quality Egyptian products at reasonable prices which have the potential to compete with imported goods, said Hegazy.
The NBE aims to invest EGP 3.6bn into financing SMEs that are active in industrial areas, Hegazy said. The total funds granted by the CBE’s initiative to support micro and small enterprises is about EGP 3.8bn, which has financed more than 5,400 projects 23% of which were of an industrial nature.
The total direct and indirect credits granted for micro enterprises and SMEs by the NBE was EGP 28bn, as of the end of June, which reflects the bank’s interest in financing SMEs.
“Seventy-two specialised centres were created in Greater Cairo and Alexandria to serve SMEs, ensuring quality of service and speed of decision making. The NBE targets an SME loans portfolio of EGP 72bn by 2020,” Hegazy concluded.