The Egyptian government and the World Bank signed on a loan of one billion U.S. dollars as the first batch of a larger three-billion-dollar loan from the world institution to the Arab state. Attended by Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, the country’s International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr signed the agreement with Asad Alam, World Bank regional director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti.
“The loan is a testimony of confidence from the World Bank in the measures taken by the Egyptian government for economic and social reforms,” Nasr told a news conference following the signing ceremony at the cabinet headquarters in the capital Cairo.
For his part, the World Bank official said that his institution agreed to provide Egypt with facilitated loans of eight billion in total, including the current three billion to support the country’s general budget.
“There will be another three billion that will be dedicated to development projects in different fields and two billion to support the private sector,” Alam told reporters.
Egypt is also expected to get a 1.5-billion loan from the African Development Bank, one-third of which is to be delivered soon as the first batch. The country is suffering over 11% of budget deficit in the outgoing 2014/2015 fiscal year, which it aims to reduce by over two percent this year.
Struggling for major projects to revive economy, Egypt expanded and deepened its vital Suez Canal to receive more and larger passing ships with the aim of gradually increasing annual revenues from average 5 billion US dollars to 13.23 billion in 2023. The country also starts massive development projects at the Suez Canal region that are expected to attract foreign investments worth billions of dollars.