China Development Bank issues first Africa loan to Egypt

The China Development Bank has issued the first in a series of loans China is offering to support small and medium sized African development enterprises. The bank explained in a statement published on Friday on its website that the loan worth US$200,000 was granted to the company Wonder Lighting Egypt.

The statement quoted Zhu Qingdong, head of the China Development Bank's Cairo office, as saying: "The total amount of the loans for the Egyptian company amount to US$1 million, the rest will be issued by the end of the year and last for a term of three years."

 "Providing monetary support to small and medium sized African organizations is an important part of comprehensive cooperation between China and Africa, and will help create local job opportunities and strengthen local economic and social development," Zhu said,

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao had previously announced eight new steps that the Chinese government planned to take in order to strengthen cooperation between China and Africa in the next three years at the 4th ministerial conference of the Forum on Chinese-African Cooperation (FOCAC) held on 8 November, 2009 in Sharm el-Sheikh. These steps included offering US$1 billion in loans to small and medium sized African companies as a part of an effort to aid Africa in building its financial capabilities.

To date the Chinese Bank has reached preliminary agreements with more than 20 African nations for loans worth up to US$ 300million.

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