EC releases €28 million of risk capital facility for Mediterranean countries
The European Commission (EC) has released under the MEDA program €28 million of risk capital for its Mediterranean neighbors Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The facility will focus on up-grading the financial sector of these countries and territories, on raising the competitiveness of their enterprise sector and will put emphasis on privatization, said a press release. Support will also be available to financial intermediaries active in the region.
The Risk Capital Facility is administered by FEMIP, a European Investment Bank (EIB) facility created in 2002. With the facility, the Commission expects to increase the economic and technological capability of Mediterranean countries to open up their economies towards one another as well as towards the European Union (EU). In addition, the facility is intended to improve economic conditions in order to enable each country involved to draw net-gains in terms of accelerated growth, additional and durable job creation and balance-of-payments sustainability.
To achieve these objectives, the facility will support competitive restructuring and strengthening of local companies, with priority being given to outward-oriented businesses; restructuring of the financial sector in an open market economy context with a view to promoting financially strong, accountable and prudentially healthy financial intermediaries.
The facility will also seek to enhance the efficiency of service and financial product diversification, and to develop partnerships with regional and European financial intermediaries that would underpin stronger trade and investment relations; and eliminate public monopolies and privatization of state enterprises where the competitive marketplace can produce goods and services more efficiently.
This latest installment is the third from a €100 million package agreed in 2001. The first instalment of €50 was released in 2001 and the second of €22 million in 2003. The funds are provided through the MEDA program, the financial and technical co-operation program of the EU with Mediterranean partner countries. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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