The United Bank of Egypt (UB) and the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) signed a joint cooperation protocol last week aimed at supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The protocol comes within the framework of the general trend of thein Egypt and its major industrial blocs towards the establishment of specialised industrial zones throughout the republic and to encourage domestic and foreign investments, especially in the SME sector.
The protocol stipulates that the IDA shall allocate and offer full industrial units dedicated to the establishment of SMEs for investors. The UB shall provide the necessary funds for these industrial establishments in order to encourage investment in industry, further develop local products, and to maximise their global competitiveness.
UB Chairperson Ashraf El Kady said, that the establishment of specialised industrial zones is a major nucleus for investment in Egypt, pointing out that economic growth is the main force in support of stability and security through the creation of real jobs for young people, which contributes strongly to the development of society economically and socially.
He added that the most important success of these industrial zones is attracting large, medium and small companies and industries, creating an economic system where these industries stimulate one another.
Also, he pointed out that government agencies have drawn up the necessary plans to pay attention to workers, especially youth, through activating the president’s programme and the initiative of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to allocate EGP 200bn for the development of the SMEs sector.
Moreover, El Kady pointed to the positive interaction of the IDA, which plays an important role as a driving force for the industrial development process, by penetrating deeply into the market to learn the needs of customers in different governorates and directing investors to the most important Egyptian products that enjoy comparative advantages and to maximise their global competitiveness.
Nevine Kashmiri, assistant managing director of funding large enterprises and SMEs at the UB, said that the bank plays a pivotal role in supporting the SME sector.
She explained that the bank will, in accordance with the protocol signed with the IDA, grant the necessary funding for the establishment of projects, according to the study and the quality of activity, including industrial, service, commercial, or agricultural, and will raise awareness of banking culture among clients through the organisation of seminars in all governorates, to identify the mechanism of preparing data for dealing with banks and access to credit, titled “how to be bankable”.
She pointed out that the bank aims to interact with customers and qualify them so that they can contribute effectively to increasing production and to deepen the role of SMEs in the economic boom targeted by the state.
The chairperson of the IDA, Ahmed Abdel Razek praised the cooperation of the UB with the IDA to activate initiatives and support the bank’s role in stimulating industry.
He explained that investors dealing with the bank under the umbrella of the IDA as a mediator will overcome many of the obstacles they face during procedures. He pointed out that the IDA benefits from the bank’s capabilities in financial evaluation and financial feasibility studies provided by investors in parallel with technical evaluations carried out by the IDA, to ensure delivering funding for its beneficiaries.
An initiative for “plug-and-produce” factories is part of the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s plan to support SMEs, with the aim of offering 22 SMEs industrial complexes in 14 governorates through 2022.
Abdel Razek explained that three industrial complexes have been completed in the cities of Port Said, Badr, and Sadat, containing 500 units that were fully specialised and will be opened at the end of this month, after all construction has been completed and delivered to investors for immediate operation.
He added that the IDA, under the initiative, completes the process of building the factories, supplying facilities, and issuing their licenses.