The Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr held a meeting with the World Bank’s vice president, Jan Walliser, during her current visit to Washington to attend the bank’s spring meetings.
Nasr said that the government wants the World Bank’s board of directors to accelerate the process of approving the third tranche of the loan to Egypt worth $1bn. The loan’s total value is $3bn.
Furthermore, Nasr said that the government wants the World Bank to expand financing to develop projects in Upper Egypt, which were originally financed with $500m, as well as to consider establishing more labour-intensive projects by allocating finances worth $150m.
She added that the government wants to establish sewage systems in the poorest areas of Upper Egypt and provide support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) there.
Both sides discussed the bank’s evaluation of Egypt in the Doing Business Report and also discussed the ministry’s duties and the steps taken towards economic reform to improve Egypt’s ranking.
The Doing Business Report measures the ease of the process of starting projects, licensing, receiving approval for electricity, paying taxes, protecting investors, organising the work atmosphere, and other factors.
It is worth mentioning that a delegation from the World Bank visited Egypt between 3 and 11 April to measure the steps taken at reforming the administrative structure, while the process of evaluation will continue until the end of May.
The minister stated that the cabinet is working on creating an “investment map,” which includes all investment opportunities that serve to create a more attractive atmosphere for Egyptian and foreign investors.
However, the World Bank’s vice president for operations policy and country services, Hartwig Schafer, stated that the Egyptian government’s reform programme is successful in developing the country, adding that the Bank will support the country through allocating finances for SMEs and creating a more transparent economic environment.