New EU financing agreements to support transformation in Egypt
The EU has promised further support for the transformation in Egypt at the first meeting of the EU- Egypt Taskforce in Cairo on Wednesday. Part of the overall package are 3 financing agreements signed between the EU and Egypt. 1.The financing agreement for the Cairo Metro is to support the construction of the Third line of the underground system. This will help to boost economic growth by increasing the mobility and access of the socially disadvantaged population to education, jobs and services as well as reducing urban congestion, road accidents and pollution in the city. It is expected to positively affect 1,3 million people.
"The EU is helping where it makes direct impact on population and where people can benefit. Our support to environmentally friendly urban transport will improve the living and health conditions of the vulnerable parts of the population by upgrading the quality of municipal services and supporting job creation as well as helping to reduce the pollution and improve the quality of air," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbopurhood policy Štefan Füle said after the agreements have been signed at the end of the EU-Egypt Task Force in Cairo.
The contribution of €40 million will go towards the third phase of the construction of the17,7 km stretch of the western metro line with 15 stations. The EU´s grant is accompanied by loans from the French Development Agency (AfD) and from the EIB. This is another example how the help from the EU leverages other contributions.
2. The financing agreement on the Support for Agricultural SMEs is worth €22 million for creating job opportunities in rural areas and in the agriculture by increasing the productivity and efficiency of selected agricultural sectors. The aim is to improve the access to finance for small and medium enterprises. Access to credit for them will be improved through the expansion of the existing lending schemes and setting up of a credit guarantee facility. The dairy sector and marine aquaculture sector will also get technical assistance. This project is a joint initiative with the French Development Agency (AfD) which provides a loan of around €30 million.
3.The financing agreement on Trade and Domestic Market enhancement worth €20 million intends to improve the environment for trade through fostering reforms and infrastructure for trade liberalisation. It should help the Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade in the implementation of key policy reforms to boost economic development and to help Egypt to further integrate its market globally.