Egypt’s Banque Misr, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) signed a loan agreement worth $100m, on 30 March, to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Egypt.
On Sunday, a ceremony was held to celebrate the agreement and distribute the plaques by JICA. The ceremony was chaired by: Banque Misr Chairperson Mohamed El Etreby; Akef El-Maghraby, Deputy Chairperson of Banque Misr; Mostafa Gamal, Director of Treasury and Financial Institutions at Banque Misr; Omura Yoshifumi, Chief Representative of the JICA Egypt Office; and Jun Saito, Regional Head of Middle East at SMBC.
The signing was witnessed by Japan’s Ambassador to Egypt Noke Masaki, Director General of Middle East and Europe Department of JICA Matsunaga Hideki, and Professor Hany Helal, Former Minister of Higher Education and JICA Advisor.
The new facility aims to boost the ability of MSMEs to lead Egypt’s economic growth through an improvement of access to finance.
It is also aligned with the Egyptian Government’s efforts in expanding the financing of MSMEs to reduce unemployment, advance the national economy, and mitigate the negative impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Moreover, this facility focuses on supporting women-owned MSMEs in Egypt. As a project to lead to economic empowerment of women, it is expected to contribute to the G7 2X Challenge: Financing for Women initiative, which was launched at the Group of 7 (G7) Leaders’ Summit in 2018. This is also the First Private Sector Investment Finance (PSIF) cooperation for JICA in Egypt.
Omura expressed his pleasure for the launch of JICA’s private sector finance in Egypt and the partnership with Banque Misr and SMBC.
This project will be regarded as the First Project under the “Sustainable Finance Framework”, which was newly established between JICA and SMBC. It aims to facilitate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) finance, and contribute to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through partnerships, in line with international principles of social financing.
Ambassador Noke welcomed the new facility, which is set to benefit Egyptian MSMEs, in line with the Egyptian Government’s policies. The Ambassador also highlighted that this will shape a new type of partnership to contribute to Egypt’s development.
El Etreby confirmed that the agreement’s signing seeks to assist Egypt’s national economy through MSMEs in various activities. He added that Banque Misr is one of the most pioneering financial institutions in supporting and financing MSMEs especially women-owned MSMEs.
JICA PSIF projects and agreements aim to stimulate economic activity, boost the private sector and improve the living standards of people in developing countries through equity investments and loans for projects. JICA will continue its collaboration with countries and international organisations to promote quality infrastructure investment and contribute to social and economic development based on the SDGs.