IFC, Exim bank Strengthen Partnership in North Africa and Levant
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,and developmentpartner Eximbank are continuing to provideinnovative financial products for Egyptian farmers, and help smaller businesses in Egypt as well as North African and Levant countries adopt sustainable energy technologies to drive economic growth and development.
Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Egypt,including farmersactive in agricultural-based value chains, facea host of challenges,from difficulties in accessing finance to high energy costs. IFC aims to support private sector development by addressing these challenges, through its collaboration with partners like Hungary’s Eximbank.
Eximbankhas supported IFC’s advisory programs with a total of $1.5 million overthe past two years, including $1million to help IFC pilot an Islamic microfinance program in Egypt and Tunisia, potentially one of the first scalable models for musharaka (e.g. profit- and risk-sharing) in MENA and globally. In Egypt, the program enabled the Alexandria Businessmen’s Association (ABA) to design and pilot a cost-effective, profitable risk-sharingproduct, targeting farmers in the dairy sector. The new financing mechanism provides an alternative to conventional microfinance, with many of the heifers purchased for the pilot scheme sourced from Hungary. Eximbank also recently provided $500,000to promote sustainable energy financing in North Africa and Levant countries, part of a $3.5 million program in the region that IFC started in 2010.
“Our partnership with Exim Bank has madetheseefforts possible” said Xavier Reille, Manager of IFC Financial Sector Advisory Services -Financial Institutions Group. “Helping financial intermediaries provide new and innovative financial products will facilitate access to finance, a strategic priority forIFC across the region.”
IFC and Eximbank’s partnership beganin 2014, aiming to help Hungarian companies enter new foreign markets by participating in World Bank and IFC development tenders. Eximbank focuses on the agriculture, water management, ICT, energy and healthcare sectors in Egypt, North Africa, the Western Balkans, Central Asia, former CIS countries, India, Turkey, Indonesia, and Vietnam, in particular.Eximbank’sstrategy inEgypt is aligned with the foreign economic strategy of the Hungarian Government, and build on projects in the pharma industry, transportation, ICT sector.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.