CAIRO - 23 October 2021: Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation held a meeting with the Board of Directors of the UK’s Development Finance Institution, CDC, to address means of bolstering their activities in Egypt.
During the meeting, Al-Mashat reviewed Egypt’s structural and economic reforms and the exerted efforts in advancing green transition.
The Minister of International Cooperation affirmed the importance of the role IFIs play in pushing forward the government’s efforts to achieve sustainable development.
For his part, Chairman of the CDC Group applauded Egypt’s economic reforms and affirms the CDC’s readiness to cooperate to promote development and provide further support to the private sector.
The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, virtually met with the Chairman of the UK’s Development Finance Institution, CDC, Graham Wrigley; the CDC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nick O'Donohoe; and the CDC’s Coverage Director of Egypt, Sherine Shohdy. This meeting aims to identify future areas of cooperation that come within the framework of supporting Egypt’s development efforts, to further enhance private sector’s engagement; and to achieve Egypt’s Vision 2030, which aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This meeting came within the framework of the periodic meetings Minister Al-Mashat holds with multilateral and bilateral development partners to brief them on the country’s latest development efforts, and to bolster Egypt’s regional and global economic cooperation; in order to further provide soft development finances and technical support, as well as to create innovative financing tools in Egypt; opening the horizon for partnerships between the private sector and various International Financial Institutions (IFIs).
During the meeting, H.E. Al-Mashat reviewed the Government of Egypt’s efforts in achieving sustainable development; stressing its commitment to achieve development across all sectors. H.E. added that the structural and economic reforms being implemented are to ensure the sustainability of development efforts.
The Minister further mentioned that what helped cushion the country during the pandemic is the homegrown economic reform program, which led to Egypt’s achievement of positive growth rates despite recessions in most countries of the world. In that vein, the Ministry of International Cooperation is working towards consolidating economic relations with multilateral development partners such as the World Bank Group (WBG), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), etc. This is in addition to bilateral development partners such as the United States, Japan and South Korea; advancing towards Egypt’s Vision 2030.
Al-Mashat stated that Egypt works to achieve development through various financing resources, such as the concessional development funds the Ministry of International Cooperation provides through development partners. This is in addition to the partnerships between the Government of Egypt, development partners, and the private sector. The Ministry’s development financing portfolio encompasses 377 projects amounting to $25 billion, ensuring the spread of the projects across the 17 SDGs.
The Minister stated that the Ministry of International Cooperation has developed an integrated approach of boosting relations with development partners, through the principles of Economic Diplomacy: Multi-Stakeholders Platform, the Official Development Assistance (ODA) mapping to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Global Partnerships Narrative that puts “People at Core”, “Projects in Action,” and “Purpose as the Driver”.
H.E. added that the Government of Egypt is committed to the green transition, and is making strides in the form of investments, as it aims to increase green public investments to reach 30% by the end of the current fiscal year. In addition, Egypt sold $750 million in green bonds in what was the region’s first sovereign offering of climate-friendly securities.
The Minister called on IFIs, including the CDC, to further provide soft development funds to developing countries to advance their progress towards green transition, and to empower them to preserve the environment, as well as to enhance their economic flexibility, especially through creating innovative financing and blended financing tools, in light of the lack of concessional development funds needed to bridge the SDGs financing gap, which is estimated at $3.7 trillion.
Moreover, Al-Mashat referred to the country strategy for women empowerment and enhancing women’s participation in economic development; elaborating that the Ministry of International Cooperation has several programs implemented in partnership with multilateral and bilateral development partners to empower women and enhance their participation in the labor force One of the most prominent projects is the “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator'', launched by the Ministry of International Cooperation, together with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the National Council for Women (NCW). This accelerator is the first public-private collaboration model in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region; aiming to increase women’s participation in the labour force and close gender gaps in remuneration and investment.
During the meeting, they referred to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26), which will be hosted by the United Kingdom by the end of the current year. This summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards climate action, and to combat the negative repercussions of climate change, within the framework of the United Nations agenda.
In light of that, Minister Al-Mashat stated that Egypt is looking forward to hosting the upcoming edition of the UN Climate Change Conference, as part of its endeavors to lead the region towards green transition and sustainable recovery; instilling the sustainability ethos across all implemented projects.
For his part, Chairman of the CDC Group, Graham Wrigley, applauded the Government of Egypt’s development efforts across various fields, despite the economic challenges facing the world; praising its commitment to push forward the region’s green transformation. Wrigley referred to the role the Ministry of International Cooperation plays in enhancing joint cooperation work with international institutions to support development visions. He also affirmed the CDC’s readiness to cooperate to promote development and provide further support to the private sector.
Egypt shares strategic relations with the United Kingdom, where the CDC has been supporting the private sector since 2003, as the CDC’s development financing portfolio in Egypt amounts to EUR 440 million, allocated to about 39 companies. It has also contributed to providing more than 30,000 jobs, across different sectors, including sectors of new and renewable energy, and health.
The CDC has worked for over 70 years in promoting sustainable long-term
growth of companies in Africa and South Asia, as its investments portfolio amounts to $ 9.3 billion directed to more than 1,200 companies in emerging economies