The European Investment Bank (EIB) plans to offer 6 billion Euros in loans to the Arab region in the coming years, of which €1.5 billion are expected to go to Egypt. Much of this financing has already been “identified in pipeline projects”, says Maystadt, EIB president, during his visit to Cairo last week. The EIB has traditionally focused on projects in Egypt’s energy sector. However, Maystadt stressed the money would also flow into other sectors and projects, which are in line with the priorities of the new government.
He added that the bank plans to diversify its portfolio in the Egyptian market to better reflect the needs and priorities of the new Egyptian government.
The EIB plans to put €100 million into a “pilot phase” for this program by December, alongside the funding from the Egyptian government and grants from the EU.
Maystadt explained that he understood the Egyptian government’s hesitations with accepting foreign loans, but said that it shouldn’t pose an issue to the EIB’s activities in Egypt. According to the bank’s head, Egypt’s restrictions on foreign borrowing stem mainly from receiving loans for its general budget, whereas the “EIB is something different,” because it involves “borrowing for productive investments.”