The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) along with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and Banque Misr signed on Monday a $100 million loan agreement to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Egypt.
The new facility aims at boosting these enterprises’ ability to lead Egypt’s economic growth through improvement of access to finance for MSMEs, according to JICA.
In addition, the facility is consistent 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.
JICA statement added that the facility focuses on supporting women-owned MSMEs in Egypt.
This is the First Private Sector Investment Finance (PSIF) cooperation for JICA in Egypt. JICA has an on-going portfolio of cooperation with the Egyptian government of almost $3 billion as government-to-government cooperation.
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.
Chairman of Banque Misr confirmed that the signing of this agreement aims at assisting national economy through MSMEs in various activities. El Etreby referred to Banque Misr as one of the most pioneering financial institutions in supporting and financing MSMEs especially women-owned MSMEs.
JICA also noted 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 Egyptian 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.