Government committed to facilitate easy financing for private sector: Finance Minister

Daily News Egypt
5 Min Read

Mohamed Maait, Egypt’s Minister of Finance, has reaffirmed the government’s unwavering commitment to securing accessible financing from international development partners for the private sector. This initiative aims to provide the necessary liquidity to drive private investment flows in Egyptian developmental and economic activities. It aligns with efforts to empower the private sector, foster growth, create productive job opportunities, alleviate fiscal burdens, and enhance the quality of services provided to citizens.

In a recent statement, the Ministry highlighted its collaboration with the Central Unit for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to educate Egyptian private sector investors on leveraging low-cost financing opportunities offered by international institutions. The ministry is also clarifying priority sectors and projects within international financing programmes, while enhancing the capacities of private companies to capitalize on financing opportunities available from multilateral development banks.

The Ministry of Finance, in partnership with the Multilateral Cooperation Center for Development Finance (MCDF) of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Egyptian Contractors Federation, organized a workshop attended by over 120 contracting companies, federation members, and representatives from international development banks. These institutions included AIIB, the African Development Bank (AFDB), the World Bank (WB), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the French Development Agency (AFD). The workshop aimed to equip Egyptian contractors and private companies with the knowledge needed to secure financing from international banks and agencies, covering project financing systems, bidding mechanisms, and contractual processes.

Atter Hanoura, Head of the Central Unit for PPP at the Ministry of Finance, emphasized that representatives from international financing institutions operating in Egypt, the Arab region, and Africa explained procurement and contracting procedures to targeted contractors and private companies. They outlined bidding processes, tender document preparation, bidder rights, and successful participation in projects financed by development banks in Egypt. Additionally, they guided the compilation of comprehensive applications for long-term financing from development banks, including green financing options.

Hanoura highlighted the government’s goal of expanding the Egyptian private sector’s role in providing services and PPP projects both domestically and internationally. International entities finance projects not only within Egypt but also in countries such as Libya, Chad, Uganda, Sudan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria. Egyptian companies can participate in globally tendered projects following general international rules.

Regarding financing approaches, Hanoura explained that projects can be directed to governments, where governmental bodies handle tendering according to donor entities’ regulations. Alternatively, international entities may offer projects under a PPP model. He clarified the differences between these approaches.

In the PPP model, the investor or bidder bears the responsibility for financing, designing, constructing, equipping, operating, and maintaining the projects, which eventually revert to the administrative authority. Some contracting companies receive lump-sum payments upon project completion, necessitating short-term financing or loans. The workshop provided insights into bid calculations against financing.

The AIIB previously organized a successful workshop in China last year, attended by hundreds of contractors and representatives from consultancy firms. It covered rules for tendering and contracting related to goods supply, construction works, non-consultancy services, major infrastructure projects (EPC), consultancy services, and PPP contracts. Participants learned how to obtain financing from multilateral development banks.

Given the ongoing infrastructure and public services projects in Egypt, many of which are financed by international entities such as AIIB, AFDB, WB, IFC, ISDB, EIB, EBRD, and AFD, Egypt requested a repeat of the workshop in Cairo during MCDF Board meetings. The invitation was well-received, emphasizing the importance of educating contractors, suppliers, legal offices, consultancy firms, and financial study offices on the mechanisms, systems, and rules for tendering and contracting with international financing entities or multilateral development banks, regardless of the project financing model.

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