The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) announced the implementation of $1.130bn for a trade financing programme in favour of the Egyptian government.
Three Egyptian ministers participated in the event that was organised on Monday evening, including the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, the Minister of Supply and Internal Trade, Aly Meselhi, and the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El-Molla.
At the event, all parties agreed on extending their future cooperation in sectors of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), building capacities, logistics, food security, and petroleum.
“The ITFC provided the Egyptian government with $1.130bn for the financing of petroleum needs along with wheat and rice imports, which matches the long standing relations with Egypt,” Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of the ITFC, said during his speech.
The ITFC’s total finance in Egypt exceeds $8.5bn for several framework agreements for diversified programmes since starting operations in 2008, Sonbol explained. He added that, since the end of 2018, the ITFC funds in Egypt have taken on a new and vital dimension in enhancing food security for the country through funding for the ministry of supply and internal trade to finance the purchase of more than 1.3m tonnes of wheat and 125,000 tonnes of rice.
“We have also financed other programmes, including of building capacities and promoting competitive abilities for Egyptian exports’ institutions. There are about 529 young Egyptian men and women who benefited from these programmes and enhanced their exports skills,” Sonbol said.
The Egyptian women received the ITFC support to enhance participation in the global trade via the “she trade” programme, Sonbol added. He asserted that the ITFC funds for the Egyptian government is sign of trust for foreign investors and that the Egyptian economy is performing well.
Sonbol also praised Egypt’s repayment of the funds in the previously agreed time despite the challenges it passed through and the economic conditions that the world is going through, adding, “I am sure that Egypt is confidently moving toward a brighter future.”
The ministry of investment and international cooperation welcomed the ITFC’s initiative to participate in the Arab-African trade bridges, Nasr revealed during her speech at the event, asserting that Egypt pays great attention to promoting relations with African partners in line with Egypt’s presidency of the African Union (AU).
The cooperation with the ITFC is a successful story that reassures the international partners’ confidence on the economic performance, Nasr said. She noted that the ITFC is always a supportive partner with, not only funding, but also the timely response to the authority’s imports’ needs.
The ministry of investment and international cooperation focuses on supplying the needs of the most needy categories, Nasr said, adding, “we added to our cooperation agreement with the ITFC as it is very crucial to the low-income people.”
The portfolio of the Islamic Bank for Development (IBD) in Egypt is at $21.6bn, Nasr said, adding that both sides agreed that future funds will focus on supporting women, youth, and SMEs with remarkable attention to the governorates not only in Cairo.
“We are keen on more collaboration between the ITFC and the Egyptian private sector as this reduces the burden off the government,” Nasr concluded.
Additionally, the ministry of petroleum and mineral resources received the biggest share of the ITFC finance in Egypt with about $8bn since 2008.
El-Molla, said during his speech that, “over the years, we had more than the needed support from the ITFC. I would like to thank the Egyptian financial institutions for their support too.”
El-Molla called on the ITFC to extend its support for the Egyptian government especially that his ministry repaid the loans premiums on its due time.
For his part, the minister of supply and internal trade pointed out the importance cooperating with the ITFC. He said this especially in terms of financing the infrastructure of internal trade, such as warehouses and logistics, whether in Egypt, international, or regional markets.