Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat said that the ministry is working to support constructive partnerships between development partners and relevant parties to encourage investment in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are an underlying force in the Egyptian economy and have a positive impact on employment rates.
Al-Mashat’s statements came as part of her participation on Tuesday in the launching ceremony of the influential investment fund ‘Catalyst Capital Egypt’, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Misr Insurance Holding Company, with a capital of EGP 1bn, which aims to promote impact investment in Egypt as a main means to achieve the sustainable development goals included in the national development plan in Egypt.
She explained that in 2020 and 2021, development financing agreements by development partners in the private sector amounted to about $4.8bn, a large part of which was directed to banks as lines of credit (LOC) for re-lending to SMEs, in addition to contributions by development partners in investment funds specialised in financing this type of projects along with the technical support provided to these institutions.
Over the past two years, development funding was made available for the private sector by the European Investment Bank (EIB), the African Development Bank, and European Bank for Reconstruction and Developments (EBRD), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the OPEC Fund for International Development, the Green Climate Fund, the Saudi Fund for Development, the International Finance Corporation, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and others.
Al-Mashat also spoke about the government’s efforts to match development funding — whether provided to the public or private sectors — with the UN’s sustainable development goals.
She explained that partnerships between development partners and the private sector enhance the commitment of private sector institutions to environmental, social, and governance principles (ESG), which enhances development efforts as well as these institutions’ access to innovative financing tools in addition to blended financing and green financing. such as green bonds and others.
The minister stressed that in light of the economic repercussions caused by the pandemic and other challenges facing the world, the need for impactful investment and other innovative financing tools, and the involvement of private sector capital has grown. All of which are key factors to support the growth of SMEs.
It is worth noting that the ongoing portfolio of the Ministry of International Cooperation includes financing for SMEs with a value of $940m. The portfolio includes financing for private sector institutions to re-lending to SMEs at a value of $6.5bn
Achieving several sustainable development goals is reinforced by gender equality, decent work, and economic growth, as well as eliminating inequality.