Sun, 04 Apr 2021 - 05:52 GMT
During the ceremony - Press photo
CAIRO – 4 April 2021: The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and Banque Misr signed Sunday a loan agreement worth $100 million to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Egypt.
This came during a ceremony to celebrate the agreement and distribute the tombstones by JICA, according to an official statement.
The ceremony was chaired by Chairman of Banque Misr, Mohamed El Etreby, Deputy Chairman of Banque Misr, Akef El-Maghraby, Director, Treasury and Financial Institutions of Banque Misr, Mostafa Gamal, Chief Representative of JICA Egypt Office, OMURA Yoshifumi, and Regional Head of Middle East of SMBC, Jun Saito.
It was witnessed by the Ambassador of Japan to Egypt, NOKE Masaki, and Director General of Middle East and Europe Department of JICA, MATSUNAGA Hideki, and Former Minister of Higher Education and JICA Advisor, Hany Helal.
JICA noted that the new facility aims at boosting the MSMEs' ability to lead Egypt’s economic growth through improvement of access to finance for MSMEs. It is also aligned with the Egyptian government’s efforts in expanding the financing of MSMEs towards reducing unemployment, advancing the national economy and mitigating the negative impact of COVID-19.
It added that this facility focuses on supporting Women-owned MSMEs in Egypt. As a project to lead to economic empowerment of women, it is expected to contribute to “the G7 2X Challenge: Financing for Women” initiative, which development financial institutions including JICA launched at G7 Leaders’ Summit in 2018.
According to the statement, this is the First Private Sector Investment Finance (PSIF) cooperation for JICA in Egypt. JICA has an on-going portfolio of cooperation with the Government of Egypt of almost $3 billion as Government-to-Government cooperation.
OMURA expressed his pleasure for the launch of JICA’s private sector finance in Egypt and the partnership with Banque Misr and SMBC, hoping to realize it as a success story to promote further JICA private sector financing in Egypt.
This project will also be regarded as the First Project under the “Sustainable Finance Framework”, which was newly established between JICA and SMBC in order to facilitate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) finance and contribute to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through partnership, in line with international principles of social financing.
Masaki welcomed the accomplishment of the new facility among Banque Misr, SMBC and JICA, which will benefit Egyptian MSMEs widely, in line with the Egyptian Government policies.
He also showed expectation that this will shape a new type of partnership to contribute to the development of Egypt.
Chairman of Banque Misr confirmed that the signing of this agreement seeks to assist national economy through MSMEs in various activities. El Etriby referred to Banque Misr as one of the most pioneering financial institutions in supporting and financing MSMEs especially women-owned MSMEs.
JICA stated that Banque Misr is the second largest bank in Egypt with a clear focus on MSME lending and a large retail presence across Egypt. The Bank recently won several awards in this field; including “Best SME Bank – Egypt 2020” from Global Business Outlook magazine; “Most Innovative SME Bank – Egypt 2020” from International Finance magazine; and “Best SME Partner Bank – Egypt 2020” from the European magazine and Best Bank for SMEs in Egypt from Asiamoney magazine and outstanding SME bank Egypt 2020 from International Investor Magazine.
JICA PSIF projects and agreements aim to stimulate economic activity, boost private sector and improve the living standards of people in developing countries through equity investments and loans for projects. JICA will continue its collaboration with countries and international organizations to promote quality infrastructure investment and contribute to social and economic development based on the SDGs.