Translated Interview A Translated interview from the English weekly issue of (Elalam Elyoum Journal), published on 20/6/2012

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Monday - 28 January 2013 - 6:16 PM



              - Small and medium- scale projects require actions not words


                In an interview with (Elelam Elyoum), Dr. Ali Thabet, an expert in small and medium-scale project,  


                stresses that owners of small-scale projects received many promises but nothing was achieved in





              - What is your evaluation of small and medium-scale projects after the revolution?


                There are only promises but no real action for developing those projects. Banks claims that


                 the situation of small and medium-scale projects is good, and the problem lies in financing small


                 projects. However, there are no specific numbers or clear statistics on small projects that are being


                 financed, or the volume of its work, or the projects that were approved for funding.  



              - Are there any specific criteria for small and medium-scale projects?


                Most countries depend on the number of employees, and the capital of the project or both


                for classifying small and medium-scale projects. In Egypt, projects with fewer than fifty workers


                and one million as capital are considered small projects, where as the companies which have less


                than 100 workers and with capital of 15 million pounds, are considered medium projects. However,


                there are no laws that describe specific criteria for these projects and Egypt already needs that.



              - Are banks serious in financing these projects?


                It is difficult to judge the seriousness of banks in financing this sector, despite the fact that bank


               data officials revealed their wish to finance this sector. Again, no actual reliable statistics


               are present. Meanwhile, the reality is clear; banks prefer providing big loans for major investors.  



     - But banks blame their customers for this tendency, what do you think?


       This matter is not clear because banks have to reduce the amount of loans to unsuitable customers


       with clarifying reasons behind rejecting their loans. If those reasons are common between


       some customers or entirely depend on their activity or their governorate.



            - Do you think that Islamic finance will participate in upgrading that sector?


              There must be a specific definition for Islamic finance, if differences relate only to specific


              names granted to deals, there will be no change. However, if the system means some sort of


              partnership between the lenderand the owner of the project in profit and loss, that might definitely


              revive this sector.



             - Is there a feasible idea to specify a certain bank like Cairo bank in that sector?


               The idea is viable. It will be applied in some countries but in different ways. In Egypt, there are sectors


               in some banks just for loans to such projects, but dedicating a bank that has its own law in loans


               will be a practical gateway for an actual finance system to small and medium-scale projects in Egypt.



             - Does the Social Fund interfere with the idea of the bank?


               The social fund was established for a certain reason in addition to other comprehensive


               development roles. Idon`t believe the bank will eliminate this institute.



             - What are the practical solutions for improving that sector


       It is necessary to recognize the importance of small and medium-scale projects in creating jobs and


       economic growth. Most countries, despite economic powers, depend mainly on small projects.


       Therefore, Egypt needs to pay more attention for these projects and assign a ministry or agency for


       this type of projects regarding approvals, licenses, or other actions