Ashraf el-Arabi, minister of development and international cooperation discussed economic support to Egypt with Hildegard Gacek, managing director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for the southern and eastern Mediterranean region on Wednesday.
It was reported that the Egyptian government seeks to attract the EBRD to carry out operations in Egypt beside the country’s founding membership in the EBRD.
The EBRD, which was founded in 1991, offers assistance to economies transitioning from central planning to a free market economy. The EBRD has investments in up to 29 countries from central Europe to central Asia, and is owned by 63 countries, including countries of operations and two inter-governmental institutions.
In the wake of the “Arab Spring” uprisings, the EBRD vowed to expand its operations in the southern and eastern Mediterranean Region (SEMED), allocating €59 million to the SEMED fund. SEMED fund donors include: Australia; Germany; France; Finland; Italy; the Netherlands; Norway; Sweden; and the United Kingdom.
The EBRD announced Gacek’s appointment as head of SEMED in April. Responsibilities in the role include formulating and delivering the Bank’s strategy and business plan for this new region of operations.
El-Arabi announced that the EBRD will start funding projects, as soon as the legal procedures are finalised, in various sectors including: agriculture; energy; small and medium sized industries; the banking sector; infrastructure; transportation; and telecommunication.