Egypt Gets $12m Soft Loan from Italy
Italy has granted Egypt a $12 million soft loan aimed at developing small to medium-sized enterprises, an Italian embassy official said on Thursday, quoted by Reuters.
Under the terms of the loan agreement, signed on Thursday, Egypt must repay the funds over a 42-year period, with annual interest of 0.5 percent after the first 14 years. The first period is interest-free.
Italy is the leading importer of Egyptian goods, according to the agency.
In February, Italy pledged to help Egypt upgrade its health services, by providing a number of Egyptian hospitals with necessary equipment.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak visited Italy in the same month, where the two sides agreed to build and launch a satellite named Desert Sat, designed to carry out missions on preserving agriculture and water resources, monitoring the erosion of Mediterranean coasts, and tracking desertification in delta – Albawaba.com