Jin-Yong Cai, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group talks to the media during a news conference in Yangon, February 5, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
The key to unlocking Egypt's long-term economic potential is supporting the country's private sector, stated International Finance Corporation (IFC) Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President Jin-Yong Cai on Thursday.
Cai made the comments during his first official visit to Egypt since taking over as head of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector.
“It is no secret that many countries in the region, like Egypt, have struggled during the last two years,” he said. “One of the keys to restoring the region’s economic luster is supporting the private sector, which has the potential to drive growth and create the jobs people here so desperately need.”
While in Egypt, the IFC official met with representatives of the government, including Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, and members of the business community, with whom he discussed ways to boost investor confidence, support small businesses, and spur the development of infrastructure projects.
According to the statement, the IFC has committed $723 million to 11 projects in Egypt over the past two years, including mobilisation of $191 million, to support the country in its post-revolutionary transition.
In 2012, the organization invested $475 million in Orascom Construction Industries, the country's largest private contractor.
The IFC has also advised the government and other entities on strengthening business regulations, increasing access to finance and supporting the development of small and medium enterprises. The IFC also assisted in the creation of public-private partnerships in infrastructure, including the establishment of two university hospitals in Alexandria in 2012.