Egypt is among largest countries of operations for IFC: Al-Mashat

Daily News Egypt
4 Min Read

Egypt stands as a pivotal country in the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) operations, boasting investments totalling $9bn, as stated by Minister Rania Al-Mashat. The IFC’s investments in Egypt have reached $900m from July 2023 to May 2024.

During the IFC Day in Egypt, Minister Al-Mashat, also the Governor of Egypt at the World Bank, addressed the gathering. The event coincided with Sergio Pimenta’s visit, the IFC’s Vice President for the Africa Region. Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, alongside various government and private sector leaders, attended the event.

Minister Al-Mashat emphasized the IFC Day in Egypt as a symbol of the enduring commitment to bolster the private sector. This aligns with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s directives, issued at the onset of his latest presidential term, to fortify the private sector’s role in spearheading development.

IFC’s Financial Footprint in Egypt

The minister underscored Egypt’s substantial relationship with the IFC, which has funnelled nearly $9bn into the private sector. This includes a $34m advisory services portfolio since the IFC’s inception in Egypt, marking the nation as one of the IFC’s largest operational landscapes.

Despite global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions, the IFC’s investment and financing portfolio from 2020 to 2023 stood at about $2.5bn. From June 2023 to May 2024, the investment volume reached roughly $900m.

Future Partnerships and Funding

Looking ahead, a joint statement with the World Bank last March announced an upcoming $6bn support package over three years. This fund aims to back governmental reforms, with $3bn earmarked for various government sectors and another $3bn to fortify the private sector, with the IFC contributing $1bn annually.

A new $100m financing agreement between the IFC and Banque du Caire was signed in the minister’s presence. This deal is set to finance Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), including those owned by women, and to bolster trade finance.

Structural Reform Initiatives

The Ministry of International Cooperation is actively shaping budget support programs with international bodies to enact structural reforms. These initiatives aim to enhance economic competitiveness and the business climate, particularly through green transition support. The latest effort is the development policy framework (DPF) with the World Bank, involving other financial institutions, with completion on the horizon.

Al-Mashat revealed plans for a unified guarantee platform by the World Bank Group, set to debut next July. This platform is expected to amplify the investments and guarantees provided by the IFC.

Engaging the Private Sector

The Ministry is organizing workshops to acquaint private sector entities with this novel platform and its offerings, thereby broadening the spectrum of financial tools in the domestic market. The recently launched Private Sector Engagement Portal serves as a hub for advisory, finance, and investment services, bridging the information gap for the private sector. Since its inception last December, the portal has catalogued 80 financial and non-financial services, along with numerous tenders and additional services, garnering significant interest from diverse companies.

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