Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry discussed on Sunday, with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) President Benedict Urama, ways to strengthen cooperation between Egypt and the bank. They also discussed regional cooperation through pushing forward the bank’s activities on the African continent.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zaid said in a statement that Shoukry expressed the Egyptian side’s desire to increase the bank’s participation in existing development projects and providing financing to Egyptian investors in various fields.
In this context, the foreign minister referred to the special attention Egypt devotes to infrastructure projects in Egypt and in Africa in general.
He stressed the importance of the bank’s attention to supporting these projects, because of their multiplying effect in raising the living standards of citizens, as well as facilitating transportation, in addition to facilitating the transfer of goods between countries and linking African countries to each other in a way that supports African integration and maximises the realisation of common economic interests and returns.
Finally, he praised Afreximbank’s positive role in supporting Egypt’s economic reform programme and facilitating intra-African trade as well as trade between Africa and the outside world through providing financial guarantees and facilities to exporters and importers on the African continent.
For his part, the president of the bank pointed to the organisation’s keenness to coordinate with Egypt intensively over the coming year in light of Egypt’s presidency of the African Union to support the bank’s activities and objectives in the areas of investment and intraregional trade facilitation in Africa.
He also referred to the expected positive impact on bank operations following the launch of a free trade area (FTA), which calls for intensifying cooperation and coordination with the Egyptian side during the coming period, assuring that Egypt is a key partner for the bank’s business in Africa.
Last September, in an interview session during the annual Euromoney Egypt conference, Urama said that Egypt is one of the largest beneficiaries of lending activities by Afreximbank and that the bank’s total loan portfolio to Egypt is estimated at about $5.2bn.
He added, in press remarks on the sidelines of Euromoney Egypt in September, that $4.5bn of the total portfolio has been spent to date, while the remaining $700m is planned for the coming period.
Urama had underscored earlier the strong cooperation with the Egyptian banking sector, especially the Central Bank of Egypt, National Bank of Egypt, and Banque Misr to provide facilities worth $500m for small and medium enterprises.