Egypt, Germany sign deals worth 320 million euros to support Cairo's economic reforms

Ahram Online , Tuesday 10 Oct 2017

File photo: International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr talks during an interview with Reuters in Cairo, Egypt, December 8, 2015 Reuters

Egypt and Germany signed three agreements worth 320 million euros to finance Egypt's economic and social reforms and fund the country's employment, energy and education projects, state news agency MENA said on Tuesday.

The agreements were signed between Egypt's investment minister Sahar Nasr and German Development Minister Gerd Mueller as well as Germany's KfW Development Bank during the second bilateral cooperation commission between the two countries.

The first agreement pertains to the first tranche of Germany's fund for Egypt's economic and social reforms, worth 225 million euros.

Investment minister Nasr said in March that Germany plans to provide Egypt with a total of $500 million, half of the figure in support of the country's economic reform programme and the rest to fund local micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.

Egypt has been pushing ahead with a series of austerity measures, including fuel and electricity subsidy cuts, to help ease the country's gaping budget deficit.

The reforms have helped the government secure a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund and allowed the central bank to replenish its foreign currency reserves.

The second agreement is partially about Germany providing Egypt with 45 million euros to finance employment, education, energy and infrastructure projects.

Another deal was signed where Germany’s government-owned KfW Development Bank will offer Egypt 50 million euros in support of the country's entrepreneurship programme and small and medium-sized projects.

During the commission meeting, German and Egyptian officials discussed means to bolster economic cooperation between both countries.

German investments in Egypt are estimated at €1.5 billion, providing around 22,000 jobs, according to Germany’s Ambassador to Egypt Julius Georg Luy.

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