CAIRO: More than $22 billion in lines of credit, grants and technical assistance will be presented during the MEDAFinance 09 conference on Sept. 30 in Cairo.
The first Euro-Mediterranean conference for funding will take place over two days.
A grant agreement of the Meda Finance Project signed recently will be used to conduct a survey of available financing targeting southern Mediterranean enterprises as well as European and foreign enterprises who want to invest in the south.
So far this number exceeds $22 billion, said Alaa Ezz, secretary general of the Confederation of Egyptian European Business Associations (CEEBA), in a statement.
Results of the survey will be presented as an interactive matrix by type, sector and country with information on eligibility criteria as well as where and how to apply.
The regional MEDAFinance 09 conference will then be held Sept. 30-Oct.1 in Cairo.
The grant was signed between Ezz; Adham Nadim, executive director of the Industrial Modernization Center (IMC); and Bénédict de Saint-Laurent, managing director of the Invest in Med Program at the European Commission (EC).
Project partners include the Med Alliance and BusinessMed, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Egyptian Investment Authority (GAFI), the Federation of Mediterranean Chambers (ASCAME), and the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI).
“Today, with the global financial crisis, access to finance is the bottle neck prohibiting growth of existing small and medium sized companies (SMEs) as well as the start-up of new investments, said Adham Nadim in the statement.
Several European entities as well as development banks are allocating grants, technical assistance instruments and preferential lines of credit for Mediterranean SMEs.
New instruments are gaining ground in the non-banking finance sector such as factoring, mortgage finance, leasing, etc.
“SMEs lack sufficient information on the existence of such instruments, as well as their eligibility criteria and how to access them, he added.
The conference will bring together Euro-Mediterranean business organizations and SMEs. Aid organizations and development banks from France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, USA, Canada and Japan will be on hand. Also, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and Arab and Islamic Development Funds will participate, said Ezz.
“The outcome of this project will be instrumental in promoting investments in the whole Mediterranean region and speeding their realization and growth, said Assem Ragab, GAFI chairman. -Daily News Egypt