Commercial International Bank – Egypt (CIB) and GIZ Egypt, on behalf of the German government, have signed a cooperation agreement for a joint initiative on the financial inclusion of Egyptian businesses.
“GIZ believes in banks’ role in mobilising financial resources and allocating them to productive investments makes them important contributors to economic growth and development. As such, bank lending to, and investment in, green assets is viewed as a crucial part of efforts to mitigate climate change by transitioning to a net-zero carbon economy. One of the most developed financial innovations designed to facilitate sustainable investing are Green Bonds, aiming to raise funds to finance projects that help protect the environment. Awareness of SMEs and implementation of sustainability practices allow room for improvement and growth. This encouraged CIB to develop the ‘Sustaining SMEs’ programme to empower the growth of this segment with adequate sustainable finance solutions,” Dalia Abdelkader, Chief Sustainability Officer at CIB, said.
The scope of this programme includes the development of technical guidance, standards, and tools on sustainable finance for use across the financial sector on one hand and technical training workshops to SMEs on how to support their transition into becoming sustaining SMEs within the selected sectors given their enabling role in the real economy to be able to assess their environmental impact. “It impacts directly on quality of life, on job creation and on reduction of inequity and to understand companies’ sustainable initiatives. Moreover, it strengthens financial soundness and improves systemic financial stability which will lead to economic stability that will empower companies to grow and develop.” Elvira Kanichay, Head of JP-SME Project at GIZ Egypt highlighted.
Through the flagship programme “Sustaining SMEs”, CIB aims to enable bankers to effectively develop innovative sustainable financial products tailored to cater to the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporations. In a joint attempt to boost sustainable finance and pave the way for more enhanced sustainable finance in Egypt, the partners agreed to jointly support the financial ecosystem in piloting sustainable finance options and products that can be developed to companies in varying circumstances by encouraging discussions among stakeholders about new approaches and innovative tools for SMEs and sustainable financing.
“We are happy to work with Commercial International Bank (CIB) to support the Egyptian financial ecosystem and develop new sustainable financial products. Especially considering the context of COP 27, this collaboration focuses on the importance of green finance,” Alexander Solyga, Country Director of GIZ Egypt, said.
From his side, Rashwan Hammady, acting CEO of Retail Banking at CIB said: “We are proud of this agreement between CIB and GIZ, which is built on both institutions’ strengths and common values. We are confident that it will enable us to sustain the growth of our SME clients while also contributing to the advancement of sustainable development in Egypt”.
The project Job Partnerships and SME Promotion is part of the global Special Initiative (SI Jobs) on Training and Job Creation, commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ. The focus of the project JP-SME lies in creating jobs and employment opportunities in Egypt in cooperation with Egyptian and international public and private partners.