U.S. Support for Economic Growth in Egypt

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 15, 2011

The Egyptian people have made clear that the Egyptian economy must provide opportunities for all Egyptians. In the critical days and months ahead, the United States will support the Egyptian people as they plan for their political and economic future. In particular, the United States will work to ensure that the economic gains Egypt has forged in recent years continue, and that all parts of Egyptian society benefit from these gains. In the immediate term, the United States is extending the following measures:

U.S.-Egypt Enterprise Fund: The Obama Administration is working with a bi-partisan group of Members of Congress to establish an Egypt-American Enterprise Fund that will stimulate private sector investment, support competitive markets, and provide business with access to low-cost capital. Pending Congressional approval, the Fund will be a not-for-profit, privately-managed corporation launched with U.S. grant assistance and governed by a joint American-Egyptian board of directors. The United States plans to initiate the Fund with up to $60 million of Egypt ESF funding. In addition to the U.S. grant capitalizing the fund, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) would then be able to partner with the fund to offer co-financing downstream for OPIC-eligible investments.

OPIC Support for Investment: OPIC will provide up to $2 billion in financial support to encourage private sector investments in the Middle East and North Africa, building partnerships between U.S. and Arab businesses to promote growth, and regional job creation. OPIC will prioritize small and medium-sized enterprises and is prepared to grant proposed projects “fast track” approval status (provided due diligence requirements are met) to mobilize capital quickly.

Emergency Economic Assistance: The United States has committed $90 million for near-term economic assistance to Egypt to support projects that generate jobs and economic growth.

ExIm Letters of Credit: The U.S Export Import Bank has approved $80 million in insurance cover to support letters of credit issued by Egyptian financial institutions, showing our support for the Egyptian economic recovery.

Qualified Investment Zones (QIZ): The QIZ program stimulates growth and deepens the U.S. partnership with Egypt by allowing Egyptian exports from QIZs to enter into the United States duty-free. There are currently seven QIZ zones in Egypt hosting over 300 facilities that export to the United States, and the United States is actively engaging with Egypt to address outstanding issues in order to expand the QIZ program.

Regional Integration: Egypt’s long-term growth depends on deepening economic relationships within the region and the wider world. We are working with partners in the region and in Europe to ensure that priority assistance to Egypt is coordinated with the country’s and the region’s best long-term interests in mind.

PRN: 2011/399