The Saudi Grant Management Committee’s board has approved the financing of five projects in Egypt with a total fund of EGP 200 million ($12.375 million), Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al Mashat announced on Sunday.
Three of the projects are for the Agriculture Bank of Egypt (ABE), and the other two are in the healthcare and value chain support sectors.
The Committee was established in 2013 to support the SME sector in Egypt and is affiliated with the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD).
Under the new facility, the ABE will obtain EGP 100 million in order to finance three projects in cooperation with the agriculture ministry in food security and supporting small farmers, through which small and micro-sized projects can be boosted, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, EGP 50 million will finance a healthcare project that is implemented by Contact Company for Leasing Finance, and EGP 50 million will be allocated to provide logistical support for SMEs through the UE Finance Company, which will implement projects in Upper Egypt and other governorates outside Greater Cairo and Alexandria, according to the statement.
Without providing details, Al Mashat said that a project will be implemented between the two sides in light of the P&P&P vision that is adopted by the international cooperation ministry.
Al Mashat stressed that Egypt pays special attention to such projects based on their significant role in pushing economic growth, creating job opportunities and spurring innovation.
In this regard, Egypt has launched several governmental initiatives and established cooperation with its international partners, Al Mashat added.
She also lauded the Egyptian-Saudi cooperation in boosting SMEs, adding that the Saudi Grant Committee Board has decided to diversify the beneficiary base through cooperating with new partners in an action aimed at providing finances for projects that the committee was established to support.
The Saudi committee has financed 2,176 projects so far in 27 governorates, according to the Ministry of International Cooperation.
The committee also extends its finances to SMEs through medium entities including the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and the Medium, Small, and Micro-sized Projects Authority.
Financial leasing companies are the major beneficiaries from the committee’s funds, which are provided directly without resorting to intermediaries.
The SFD’s capital is worth $31 billion, introducing total funding of $61 billion to 83 beneficiary countries, including Egypt.
Saudi Arabia’s direct investment in Egypt witnessed a drop by 43.3 percent during the first quarter of FY2019/2020, recording $69.3 million, down from $122.4 million during the same period of FY2019/2018, according to the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) latest data released in January 2020.