The European Investment Bank has requested more money so that they can help to support the transitional democracies of Tunisia, Egypt and other countries in the Arab region. Even this increase, however, would only let them keep their investments at their current level.
Making a Difference
The EIB President, Philippe Maystadt said that, “We think with euro6 billion we could do something significant in the coming years.” He added that their priority is definitely with the creation of new jobs in Egypt and other changing Middle East locations. During 2010, the EIB was the largest provider of long-term financing in the Arab region, spending a record euro2.6 billion on projects in the region.
Lending Support in Key Areas
The EIB lends its support to three main types of investments in Arab areas. These include direct investments in new enterprises, lending for small and medium sized enterprises, and lending for future development. For them, at this time, to move beyond the euro6 billion that they are projecting to lend would be difficult in the short-term. EUB Vice President Matthias Kollatz-Ahnen explained that this amount is the maximum volume they can lend to the Arab region at this time. And that, at the end of the project, the money certainly needs to be repaid, so it’s not wise to lend out too much.
The goals of EIB for the Arab region include helping young people to have new perspectives and new job opportunities. They hope, in the long term, that these countries will work to distribute the wealth fairly. At the present time, the EIB has projects in Morocco, Tunisia, Syria, Egypt, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Algeria.