The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) engaged in a close dialogue with the Egyptian government over the past three days with the aim of speeding up the country’s economic reforms, the bank’s First Vice President, Jurgen Rigterink, told Daily News Egypt, on side lines of the event organised on Tuesday evening for launching the Transition Report 2018/19, ‘Work in Transition’.
“Having been here for days, what I have seen is more impressive than what I read about the country’s economic progress. I had several productive meetings with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, representatives of the private sector, and banks. Actually, there is tremendous progress that Egypt has made over the past couple of years in many areas,” Rigterink mentioned.
There is an obvious development of the country’s infrastructure, he added, noting that Egypt has gone through strong structural reform that drives the economic growth to accelerate and inflation to decline, which represent some of the key economic indicators.
“I met with Madbouly in Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum in January and we agreed to have an additional detailed dialogue in Egypt,” he said, adding that he discussed with Madbouly the EBRD’s long-term investments, in addition to the assistance on the policy side to accelerate the economic indicators.
Egypt became the single largest recipient of the EBRD’s investment in 2018 with the provision of €1.15bn through 19 projects, covering all sectors of the economy, he pointed out, adding that the EBRD will keep increasing its investments in Egypt.
“We will focus on the private sector this year to make sure that it receives the majority of the funds. We will continue to discuss with local banks how to cooperate, with special attention to energy, infrastructure, agribusiness, and more investments with the municipalities,” he noted.
The EBRD is interested in getting shares of the state-owned companies that are being offered to the private sector, he affirmed, noting that the EBRD helps governments in many other countries in the transition toward more market economies.
“We assist governments toward privatisation of certain state enterprises. If needed, we can provide them with our advisory before the initial public offering, on issues like corporates governance, to give other companies confidence in the future performance of the offered companies,” he elaborated.
Notably, Rigterink is concluding his four-day visit to Egypt on Thursday, following several meetings with senior government officials and business representatives, in addition to visiting the Benban Solar Park in Aswan.