Ms. Nagla Bahr, Managing Director of the Credit Guarantee Company of Egypt (CGC) and Chairwoman of the Euro-Mediterranean Guarantee Network – EMGN, represented EMGN at the European Association of Guarantee Institutions (AECM) Annual Event 2023.

The AECM Annual Event 2023 took place in Athens on 15-17 June 2023 under the title “The regulatory framework of SMEs: how close are we to the red line of red tape?”. It was hosted by the Hellenic Development Bank SA and keynote speaker of the event was Ms. Marjut Falkstedt, Chief Executive, European Investment Fund (EIF).

On the first day of the event Ms. Nagla Bahr presented the Credit Guarantee Company of Egypt (CGC) which officially became a partner of the AECM during the meeting of the AECM General Assembly. Mr. George Christopoulos, Communication Officer of the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association – EMEA – one of the founding promoters of the Euro-Mediterranean Guarantee Network -EMGN – also attended the meeting.

On the second day of the event Ms. Nagla Bahr was one of the speakers of the panel “The regulatory framework of SMEs from an international perspective” along with Cha Ji Yeong, Deputy General Manager, Korea Federation of Credit Guarantee Foundations (KOREG), Korea, and Mohammed Al-Jafari, Chairman of the Jordan Innovative Start-ups and SMEs Fund (ISSF) and Director General of the Jordan Loan Guarantee Corp. (JLGC).

Introductory speaker of the panel was Luz Stella Lozano, Secretary General of the Association of the Ibero-American network of guarantees, REGAR and the discussion was modertated by José Fernando Figueiredo, Special Honorary President of AECM with the special mandate for international relations and Founding President of the Global Network of Guarantee Institutions (GNGI).

In her presentation, Ms. Nagla Bahr stressed on the importance of the proper positioning of the guarantee industry on the global economy map and the need for collective efforts by all schemes and networks to achieve this goal. She underlined that positioning should be granted particularly after the exceptional role played by the guarantee industry during and post pandemic and resulted in securing the stability of the financial markets by empowering the small businesses and enabling their business continuity during this difficult time.

In her opinion, securing a suitable guarantee regulatory framework should be an output of this proper positioning, where the industry will be having the right platform through which right regulations could be developed suiting the unique nature of the industry.

Nagla also highlighted that this is the right momentum to pursue this route, particularly with the global call for an expanded role of the guarantee due to the current global economic crisis and the high vulnerability of the small businesses.

She also marked that in parallel to this global positing approach and for the industry to be able to play its expected role, there is a crucial need to clearly specify governments commitments vis-à-vis the industry and ensure lines of finance are secured for the involved schemes, as well as the suitable regulations that are specially tailored for the guarantee industry.

In addition, she referred to the importance of the guarantee schemes themselves to revisit their business model(s) and to ensure a sustainable model is in place associated with proper operational framework to enable business growth within a healthy environment.

AECM, the European Association of Guarantee Institutions, is a member-based non-profit international association, founded in 1992 to represent its members towards EU institutions, to facilitate the knowledge exchange between its members and to promote the guarantee instrument. Today, AECM has 48 members who are operating in 31 European countries, as well as 3 supranational partners (REGAR, the SME Finance Forum, and EMGN).

The Euro-Mediterranean Guarantee Network – EMGN seeks to alleviate the region’s structural constraints for MSMEs to access to finance by gathering guarantee schemes active in the countries of the Euro-Mediterranean. EMGN is promoted by the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association – EMEA, the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

On 2022 EMGN was granted the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) label for its regional added-value. The UfM label allows project promoters to mobilise governments and stakeholders, raise awareness and visibility and gain access to a strong network of donors and financial institutions.

Credit Guarantee Company (CGC) is an Egyptian, private, joint stock company, established on December 9, 1989 under the provisions of the Company Law 159/1981. CGC started its activity in 1991. CGC’s shareholders are Central Bank of Egypt (20%), 7 banks and an insurance company. CGC seeks to: assist in fostering the Egyptian economy, generating new job opportunities, and reducing unemployment through the provision of guarantees to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).