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Al-Mashat expresses Egypt’s appreciation for the strategic and fruitful relations with EBRD

At the conclusion of their visit to Egypt, H.E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), received representatives of the Bank’s Board of Directors, where the meeting witnessed a review of the results of the visit that lasted over 6 days, and witnessed extensive meetings, visits and consultations of the Board of Directors with representatives of the national entities, private sector, business community, development partners, and civil society. In addition, bank officials inspected a number of projects for which the bank contributed to providing financial and technical support, whether to the private or public sector.

Over the course of the visit, the delegation of the Board of Directors of the European Bank met with Prime Minister Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, and also held meetings with a number of ministries and government bodies such as the Ministry of Transport, the Central Bank of Egypt, and the Suez Canal Eco
nomic Zone, and inspected development projects such as the Abu Qir Metro in Alexandria Governorate, The New Administrative Capital , the El Sewedy Technical Academy, the Grand Egyptian Museum, and other projects.

80% of the EBRD’s Investments Are in the Private Sector

At the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the EBRD welcomed representatives of the Bank’s Board of Directors, expressing Egypt’s appreciation for the strategic and fruitful relations with the Bank, considering Egypt a founding member, pointing to the continuous development of joint relations. Since 2012 when Egypt turned into a country of operations for EBRD, this contributed to the increase in the volume of investments for the government and private sectors to more than pound 12 billion in 174 projects, more than 80% of those funds were directed to the private sector.

Al-Mashat stressed that the government is working to strengthen its relations with the international
community to advance development efforts, and that development cooperation relations are based on a clear commitment from the state and credibility in working with development partners, pointing to the ongoing structural reforms undertaken by the state to create an investment climate since 2014. This contributed to the implementation of major development projects such as the Benban solar energy project, which was achieved thanks to legislative and structural reforms in the energy sector.

In another context, the Minister indicated Egypt’s success in signing the Ras El Hekma City Development Project in cooperation with the UAE, which has had a positive impact on the Egyptian economy, and that the government is moving forward in overcoming the challenges facing the Egyptian economy. The meeting also touched on the joint development policy program, which is being prepared in cooperation with the World Bank within the framework of the structural reforms that the state is working to implement in a way that enhance
s the competitiveness of the Egyptian economy, enhances macroeconomic resilience, supports the green transformation, and helps engage the private sector more in the Egyptian economy. This also comes in line with the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which are progressing positively.

Green Transformation Projects

Al-Mashat applauded the important role played by the EBRD in supporting the Egyptian private sector, and the bank’s great support for Egypt’s Country Platform for the NWFE program, as the bank is the leading development partner concerned with implementing the energy pillar of the program.

H.E. also pointed to the efforts undertaken by the state to encourage and stimulate local manufacturing, increase exports and create more job opportunities, explaining that development partners are an essential part of those efforts, especially in the field of sustainable management projects for water resources, as well as green hydrogen, as Egypt seeks to become a global leader in manufactur
ing and exporting green hydrogen as a source of renewable energy.

Egyptian-European 10th Association Council

The Minister of International Cooperation reviewed the results of her visit to Brussels within the framework of the Egyptian-European Association Council and issued a report on joint efforts within the framework of the Team Europe initiative during the past four years. H.E. also indicated the launch of the Ministry of International Cooperation’s Hub for Advisory, Finance and Investment for Enterprises, the first integrated platform for linking development partners and private sector companies in Egypt to enhance their benefit from financing services, technical support, tenders, etc.

The Minister stressed that in light of the development efforts undertaken by the state in various fields and the keenness to strengthen international partnerships with multilateral and bilateral development partners, to support Egypt’s priorities at the level of green transformation, sustainable infrastructure, and inves
tment in human capital. The EBRD is considered a major development partner at this stage through the country strategy 2022-2027, which works to enhance the role of the private sector, support resilience and flexibility, and promote comprehensive and sustainable economic growth.

The Minister also pointed out the importance of the visits made by representatives of the Board of Directors to projects in the various sectors supported by the bank, as this reflects the state’s keenness to achieve the maximum benefit from development cooperation projects and create an investment climate to empower the private sector, and that the coming period will witness the strengthening of the strategic partnership in various sectors and development areas.

Visit the Suez Canal Economic Zone

The EBRD delegation made an inspection tour of the Suez Canal Economic Zone to learn about the investment opportunities available in the region. They inspected Egypt’s green hydrogen factory, which the bank financed two years ago, and which
exported the first green ammonia shipment in the world last November, and the Egyptian Basic Industries Corporation (EBIC) factory and Sokhna Port, which is witnessing many development works to become the most important port on the Red Sea.

Visit Alexandria Governorate

The delegation of the EBRD’s Board of Directors undertook an inspection tour of Alexandria Governorate, and boarded the Talgo train, which the European Bank financed, where it followed the progress of implementation of projects financed by the Bank within the framework of the Green Cities Program in the governorate, including the Alexandria/Abu Qir Metro Project, and discussed the map of future projects in the governorate. This includes climate action, sustainable infrastructure, transportation, water and sanitation, and confronting climate change. In addition, the bank delegation inspected many other projects.

In this regard, Jose Leandro, the official of the European Union countries, stressed the importance of Egypt as a country of strateg
ic operations for the European Bank and the European Union in general, and that the Bank is very keen to direct all aspects of support to Egypt to confront the challenges it is going through. He noted that the visit of the Bank delegation to the Suez Canal region showed the extent of development that has been achieved to stimulate the investment climate. The visit to the El Sewedy Academy for Technical Education revealed inspiring measures to encourage technical employment among young men and women and the importance of investing in training. He also applauded the small and medium enterprises that were inspected in Cairo and Alexandria, the most important of which are in encouraging and increasing available job opportunities.

He also highlighted the meeting held by the Prime Minister with the bank delegation, explaining that the meeting revealed a clear vision for the government to confront the current challenges, and also showed moving forward in finalizing the agreement with the International Monetary Fund
, noting that Egypt’s reforms could enable many opportunities for growth beyond the current stage, and that the EBRD can make a difference by supporting these reforms and measures undertaken by the state.

For her part, the Executive Director for Spain and Mexico at the bank expressed her appreciation for the positive changes she saw in the Egyptian market, and despite the challenges, there are innovative solutions to overcome them, especially by increasing export and local industry.

Moreover, the representative of Italy to the bank’s board of directors confirmed that Egypt is a pivotal partner of the EBRD, and that the Egyptian market has great opportunities for growth despite the challenges it faces, explaining that the visit to the Elsewedy Academy for Technical Education revealed the efforts made to enhance investment in human capital in partnership with the bank. The representative pointed out that the bank follows an approach consisting of 3 important priorities in its strategy with all countries of op
erations, including Egypt, which are green transformation, digital transformation, and inclusion, in addition to strengthening governance.

The representative of Austria, Malta and Kazakhstan stated that despite the geopolitical challenges facing Egypt, we have seen a lot of development and efforts made to achieve development, pointing out that this visit is the fourth to Egypt in the last 20 years, but it revealed many areas of progress, especially in the infrastructure and construction sectors, as well as the efforts made to implement the green cities program in the cities of Cairo, Alexandria, and 6th of October City.

The French representative to the bank stressed the importance of increasing efforts to empower the private sector, pointing to the remarkable development in development projects in Alexandria Governorate through railway projects, as well as the advanced infrastructure in the New Administrative Capital.

The representative of Finland, Norway and Latvia at the bank stressed the need to strengt
hen the role of the private sector and enable it to play a greater role in achieving development, and that the EBRD can contribute, through partnership with Egypt, to increasing the opportunities available to the private sector.

The representative of Australia and Egypt at the bank pointed out that the visit revealed the importance of the efforts made by Egypt and the great opportunities available in the local market. Moreover, the German representative said that the visit revealed the importance of Egypt as a vital strategic partner for the continent of Europe and Germany through its strategic location.

Source: State Information Service Egypt