EBRD votes to upgrade Egypt to ‘country of operation’ status: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) voted on Wednesday to name Egypt as one of its countries of operation, according to a statement from Ittihadiya. The statement notes that the vote was unanimous save for one abstention, with the dissenting state going unnamed.
Unnamed diplomatic sources speaking to Al Mal pointed the finger at Turkey, which is a reasonable claim as Egypt enjoys good relations with all other 63 member countries of the bank. If the source is accurate, Turkey may have based its objection on the pretext of political requirements under Article 1 AEB defining the Bank’s mandate. Egypt is a founding member of the Bank, and first began the process of ascension as a country of operation in 2011, with the Bank’s Board of Directors approving the first phase of induction, which included technical cooperation.
Ittihadiya welcomed the vote, noting that Egypt being named a country of operation “will increase the scope of activities and investment of the EBRD in Egypt as well as its participation in the development process in the near future. This will support and advance the private sector, including small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), and to finance joint ventures between the private and public sector.”
EBRD’s overview page on its activities in Egypt is here; the bank has invested EUR 762 mn in 21 projects in Egypt since 2014, with the private sector receiving 56% of the bank’s investment. EBRD has invested in everything from the Cairo Metro to Faragalla and Merlon Petroleum; check out their list of investments here.