Japan loans Egypt $460m for airport, power and electricity projects

Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr (pictured), has disclosed the terms of three Japanese loans that will finance Egyptian national projects.

Loans totalling $460m, to be finalised during Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s visit to Japan this week, will have a low interest rate of between 0.1% and 0.3%.

The loans will be repaid over 40 years with a grace period of 10 years, Nasr told state-owned Al-Ahram in an interview published yesterday, Daily News Egypt reports.

The first loan is for the construction of a passenger terminal in Borg Al-Arab Airport in Alexandria to accommodate an additional 4 million passengers at a cost of $155m.

Nasr said the second will be to increase the efficiency of electricity distribution companies at a cost of $210m.

The third loan will fund the construction of a power plant in Hurghada at a cost of $95m.

Al-Sisi arrived in Japan yesterday, following a visit by Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe to Egypt in January 2015.

Last year, Japan allocated nearly $200m to support Arab countries to fight "Islamic State" (IS) forces and to promote social and political stability, Daily News Egypt reported.

Fifty Japanese companies are currently working in Egypt in different sectors.

The volume of trade exchange between Egypt and Japan in 2012 increased by 34%, amounting to $3bn compared to $2.2bn in 2011, according to the latest published figures in the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Industry’s annual report.

Egyptian exports to Japan increased by 40% in 2012 to approximately $1.2bn compared to $873.2 during 2011.

Photograph: Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr (American University in Cairo)

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