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Afreximbank, Bank of Egypt commit to drive investments, enhance trade

Ebuka Daniel

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote trade and investment flows into Egypt. Under the MoU signed on 17 November 2021 in Durban at the Intra-African Trade Fair, the two institutions agreed to broaden and deepen their collaboration in the provision of products and services related to project preparation, project finance and asset-based finance, intra-Africa trade, export development finance, treasury, trade finance, syndication, financial advisory and digital platforms.

The agreement establishes a Joint Project Preparation Facility (JPPF) between the two institutions, a first-of-a-kind for an Egyptian commercial bank. The JPPF will support public and private sector investors to prepare projects in the following prioritized sectors: Energy, Transport & Logistics, Logistical Platforms such as Special Economic Zones / Industrial Parks, Manufacturing, Agro – Processing, Hospitality & Tourism, and Services in the ICT, Healthcare and Creative Economy.

In addition, the partnership aims to catalyse and advance the attainment of Egypt’s strategic objectives as espoused under the Sustainable Development Strategy Egypt Vision 2030, by creating quality jobs, enhancing competitiveness of the country’s economy, embedding economic resilience and facilitating market access within the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) context.

Mr. Amr Kamel, Afreximbank‘s Executive Vice President in Charge of Business Development & Corporate Banking, commented, “The execution of this memorandum marks yet another remarkable milestone in our longstanding partnership with the National Bank of Egypt, Egypt’s largest commercial bank and a founding shareholder of Afreximbank. It is a multifaceted partnership which encompasses the end-to-end financial solutions spanning from project conception, through to project implementation and project operations underpinned by the provision of bespoke financial advisory services.

We are particularly thrilled about the traction garnered with the JPPF solution we pioneered. We aim to mainstream project preparation activities across the continent and complement member countries efforts to bridge infrastructure and investment gaps in Egypt in a timely manner thereby fast tracking the operationalization of the AfCFTA.”

Hisham Okasha, NBE’s Chairman, stressed that signing the protocol with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) aims at strengthening relations, creating a framework for cooperation and coordinating efforts to support the public and private sectors. The protocol also targets identifying and preparing projects to be financed, providing the necessary financing for several investment projects undertaken by Egyptian businesses, and creating a favorable investment climate to help such businesses tap into the promising African market, he added.

Access to advisory and training services and international transactions will be offered to these businesses under the protocol to provide the best success factors and capitalize on the huge investment opportunities in the African continent across the industrial, agricultural and energy sectors, Okasha explained. Being the largest bank in Egypt, NBE plays a key role in supporting start-ups and large businesses at the local, regional and international levels, NBE’s Chairman indicated. NBE’s active participation in this important Fair is driven by the Bank’s belief in the importance of economic and commercial cooperation with different countries and the wish to capitalize on the success of the Fair in 2018 which was hosted by Egypt.

Yehia Abo Elfotouh, National Bank of Egypt (NBE) Deputy Chairman, expressed his pleasure regarding the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank) in order to achieve the banking goals in syndicated loans and financial consultancy. He pointed out that this success was the culmination of the efforts exerted by experts and teams; and came as a result of the fruitful and lasting NBE-Afreximbank strategic partnership.

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