European development bank to invest in Arab world

Ahram Online, Tuesday 18 Sep 2012

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is to start investing in private sector development projects in the Middle East and North Africa

One of EBDR's wind farms projects (PHOTO: EBDR)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development [EBRD] has launched its first investments in emerging Arab democracies, in a major step in response to the wave of political changes the region has undergone since 2011, a statement on Tuesday said.

EBRD’s Board of Directors, who represent the Bank’s shareholders, have approved three projects, located in Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco. Although initial investments are relatively small, EBRD hopes to start a process of investments that will be worth as much as €2.5 billion annually by 2015.

"The development of the private sector is at the heart of the EBRD's response to the demand for economic improvements in the new region, promoting the development of small business, which can help to create jobs in an area where youth unemployment in particular is a major social problem," the EBRD statement said.

Investment projects in Egypt are expected to be submitted to the board for approval shortly, according to the EBDR statement. 

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