IFC Chooses Egypt as Model for its Investments in Middle East

Monday, 23 July, 2018 - 10:30
Cairo - Asharq Al-Awsat

CEO of the International Finance Corporation Philippe Le Houerou said that the IFC is keen to back the participation of the private sector in renewable energy in Egypt and provide technical support for a public-private partnership.

He stressed that Egypt has been chosen by the foundation as a model for its investments in the Middle East and Africa.

His comments came during a meeting with Egyptian Minister of Investment and Foreign Cooperation Sahar Nasr in Washington.

Le Houerou expressed his confidence in the Egyptian economy's progress and the government's economic and social program, pointing out that Egypt is among the top choices for the IFC, which is a member of the World Bank Group.

In line with the partnership framework signed between Egypt and the World Bank Group, IFC is committed to fund the Egyptian private sector with two billion dollars by 2019, a value that can be increased for entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), he said.

For her part, Nasr stated that the cooperation portfolio between IFC and Egypt has amounted to $1.8 billion in 2014-2018 through investments in energy, infrastructure, banks, oil, tourism, health and industry.

The minister said she looks forward for more cooperation between Egypt and the IFC in increasing support to the private sector, especially in energy, communications, transport and entrepreneurship.

Analysts have been noticing a link between the financial institutions’ praise for Egypt’s reform process and price hikes.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently lauded the country's economic reform program. This was followed by a decision to raise natural gas prices for households and businesses by 30-75 percent.

The price hike comes after the rise in prices of fuel, electricity and public transport as part of measures taken to meet demands by the IMF for a $12 billion bailout loan to support the government's reform plan. Egypt secured the three-year loan in 2016.

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