The United States has watched with admiration the solidarity of the Egyptian people in their quest for a more democratic government. On a recent trip to Egypt, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States wants to help meet the economic needs that Egypt now faces. "Because we know," she said, "that political reform must be matched by economic reform, that there must be jobs and rising opportunities for all."
Secretary Clinton also noted the importance of laying the groundwork for free and fair elections. Those elections, she said, "need to be meaningful, to be based on a strong foundation that will be stable enough and strong enough to move into the future, to hold parliamentary and presidential elections, to get results that will give you leaders that will be able to respond to the aspirations."
In the critical days and months ahead, the United States will support the Egyptian people as they plan for their economic and political future. In particular, the U.S. is working to establish the U.S.-Egypt Enterprise Fund that will stimulate private sector investment, support competitive markets, and provide business with access to low-cost capital. The U.S. plans to initiate the fund with up to sixty-million dollars.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, or OPIC, will provide two billion dollars in financial support to encourage private sector investments in the Middle East and North Africa. In addition, the U.S. has committed ninety-million dollars for near-term economic assistance to Egypt to support projects that generate jobs and economic growth.
In another effort to support the Egyptian economic recovery, the U.S. Export Import Bank has approved eighty-million dollars in insurance cover to support letters of credit issued by Egyptian financial institutions. Also, the Qualifying Industrial Zones, or QIZ, program stimulates growth and deepens the U.S. partnership with Egypt by allowing Egyptian exports from QIZ to enter into the United States duty free.
The United States will work to ensure that the economic gains Egypt has made in recent years continue and that all parts of Egyptian society benefit from these gains. As Secretary Clinton told the people of Egypt: "This moment of history belongs to you. . .this is your achievement and you broke barriers and overcame obstacles to pursue the dream of democracy, and the United States and President Obama and I will stand with you as you make this journey."