IFC invests $5 million in Egyptian agriculture group
The International Finance Corporation will lend up to five million dollars to Egypt’s Sekem Group to expand the production of organically produced pharmaceutical products, fruits, vegetables, and textiles.
The $14.5 million project, which is located at Belbeis, 60 kilometers north of Cairo, will have a strong developmental impact. It will create up to 200 jobs and help establish 120 family-owned farms that will supply the plant. It will also result in the transfer of technology and organic farming methods to these farms and provide a strong demonstration effect to investors in the biodynamic sector.
"We expect Sekem to become a catalytic force in organic agriculture catering not only to the domestic market but also to the international market. It will help elevate Egypt's profile as an exporter, especially in the European markets, and contribute to foreign exchange earnings - one of the government's top development priorities," said Director of IFC's Middle East and North Africa Department, Sami Haddad.
Chairman of the Sekem, Ibrahim Abouleish expressed the importance of this long-term loan for the development of the Sekem Group of Companies. "This long-term investment of the Sekem Group is aiming to increase production capacity and efficiency and will create new jobs and give more farmers a secure marketing possibility; on the other hand, it will increase our ability to compete in international markets and therefore increase our export revenues."
The investment in Sekem fits with IFC's Egypt strategy, which includes providing support to medium-sized enterprises and the promotion of internationally competitive ventures.
IFC's mission is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, DC. Established in 1956, it is the largest multilateral source of loan and equity financing for private sector projects in the developing world. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)