Cairo – The head of the Administrative Control Authority (ACA), Mohammed Arfan, and Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr have taken part in New York in a summit on the impact of small and medium-sized enterprises on sustainable development goals.
The Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Knowledge Summit was held at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Thursday.
During his keynote address, Arfan said it was necessary to diversify local resources to turn Cairo into a regional center for small and medium-sized enterprises. This requires the international community’s support, he said.
Arfan told the conferees that Egypt aims by 2020 to achieve a nine percent annual growth in the sector to create at least 3 million new jobs.
The head of the ACA revealed that Egypt’s Social Development Fund has funded small projects through direct loans worth 1.7 billion dollars. It has also provided 500 million dollars to 2.3 million projects through banks and civil society organizations.
He stressed that Egypt is establishing a promising market in all sectors.
Minister Nasr also addressed the conferees, stating that small and medium-sized enterprises have a huge role to play in development and the improvement of living conditions.
Such enterprises are considered the backbone of the Egyptian market, she said.
Nasr revealed that the new investment law backs small and medium enterprises, saying her ministry is working on drafting several bills to back such projects.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund said on Friday that Egyptian authorities have reached a staff-level agreement with the IMF that would help unlock the second installment of a $12 billion loan to the country.
The accord, subject to the approval of the IMF’s Executive Board, will allow Egypt to receive $1.25 billion.
Egyptian officials have said that they expect to receive the funds in June, bringing total disbursements under the program to about $4 billion.
Chris Jarvis, the IMF mission chief, also praised the Finance Ministry for drafting a “very strong budget,” which would help put public debt on a declining path, if approved by parliament.