Egypt’s government is set to launch an initiative within the coming days that allows instant and cash repayment of the entirety of export companies’ arrears from the Export Development Fund (EDF) before the end of 2020 at a discount of 15 percent, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait announced on Sunday.
Maait pointed out that the initiative supports domestic and foreign companies operating in the Egyptian market.
“The initiative will be implemented in collaboration with the banking system, as the finance ministry will deposit a guarantee at the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to allow for the payment of the arrears through the end of September for export companies that are willing to pay their entire dues, but with a repay acceleration discount of 15 percent,” according to Maait.
He added that the finance ministry will repay these sums and their proceeds to the banks that contributed to the initiative over three years.
The initiative aims at providing cash liquidity to enable exporters to fulfil their obligations and keep their labour force amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, said Maait.
Maait added that the initiative will boost the national economy, increase growth rates, attract new investments, and maximise public revenues.
The cabinet has approved five initiatives since October 2019 that aimed to settle the exporters’ arrears through June 2019. The initiatives included the repayment of small investors with a maximum of EGP 5 million, the repayment of 30 percent of the whole arrears to the exporters, holding a set-off between the exporters’ arrears and the payable tax and custom obligations on them, the repayment of the total arrear sums over four to five years while expanding their investments in return, in addition to the land allocation initiative.
The Minister of Finance’s Advisor for Financial Policies and Corporate Improvement Niven Mansour revealed that 2,351 companies have benefited from these initiatives with total payments of EGP 3 billion.
Moreover, 153 export companies have obtained the first tranche of their arrears at a total of EGP 1.8 billion, according to Mansour.