President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Philippe Maystadt said the Bank will support all projects that are consistent with the priorities of the new regime in Egypt.
In an interview with the Middle East News Agency (MENA) Sunday, Maystadt said the bank is not a political bank but it works with all partner countries in line with the trend set by the European Union, explaining that as long as the EU has chosen to support the new regime in Egypt, the European Investment Bank will support projects that are consistent with the priorities of the new regime in Egypt.
In response to a question on whether the loans which the European Investment Bank is intending to provided to Egypt will be linked to trends of Egypt’s foreign policy after the revolution, he pointed out that Egypt is passing through a crucial stage of its history and it is in the middle of a real shift toward democracy. It is important for Egypt to succeed in this process, he said adding that the European Investment Bank plans to increase its support for the small-scale projects in Egypt in many ways the first of which will be lending the Egyptian banks which in turn will use these funds to give loans to small businesses or the so-called bank loans for small-scale projects.
The second way is a new system established by the European Investment Bank with other international financial institutions, Maystadt said explaining that it is a system of credit guarantees to encourage the Egyptian banks to give more loans for small businesses and to give more credits under bigger guarantees.
The third way, he said, is to provide support to new small financial institutions by injecting some of the money that can be used to support small and medium enterprises, because the bank believes that such projects are crucial and important to the development of the Egyptian economy.
On the difference between the form of the post-revolution support and funding which the European Investment Bank plans to provide to Egypt,compared to what was presented before the revolution, he said the European Bank has already financed several projects in Egypt in the past and has a portfolio of around three billion Euros of loans for projects in Egypt of whih a large part is in the energy sector, stressing that the bank will continue to provide funding for the energy sector in Egypt.
He added that the bank will be able in this context, to lend around six billion Euros to the Mediterranean neighboring countries during the period from 2011 to-2013, including loans worth 1.5 billion Euros to Egypt.