Egypt’s negotiations with the World Bank (WB) group to approve new funds worth $2bn are going very satisfactorily, Ragui El-Etreby, WB executive board member and alternate executive director, told Daily News Egypt, adding that the timing of disbursement is not yet defined.
El-Etreby noted that Egypt’s portfolio at the WB is about $8bn during 2015-2019, which is considered a record over years, adding, “WB relations with Egypt are at the highest level currently. We pay great attention to projects related to infrastructure in housing and sanitation.”
El-Etreby said that the coming period will witness announcing new important projects, including Sinai development projects, which Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr referred to several times as national security projects.
“We care about the economic impact of the projects we finance, not the fund quantities or number of projects,” said El-Etreby, explaining that the Benban solar power plant is a good example, as its finance is worth $1bn, which is an unprecedented amount of finance for one project.
El-Etreby added that the Benban project has a very huge impact in terms of development and job opportunities, adding, “We can’t define timing of finance disbursement. However, we exert efforts to disburse funds in the timing that the Egyptian government determines to begin the projects.”
Additionally, El-Etreby said that the Egyptian authorities didn’t request additional budget support funds until now, adding, “It is a matter that backs to the Egyptian government and the political well. The reform programme is being implemented in a transparent, clear, and successful way.”
Moreover, El-Etreby mentioned that Egypt’s Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation pays great attention to informing the WB about the latest investment reforms to be considered in the coming report of Doing Business, which the IFC of the WB issues annually.
The Doing Business report is very essential for local and foreign investors, as it gives a total and detailed assessment regarding the Egyptian business climate, noted El-Etreby, adding that the Egyptian government put the Doing Business report as a top priority.
“The WB well understands and welcomes Egypt’s economic developments. We fully support the reform programme,” reaffirmed El-Etreby.