Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development participated, virtually, in the plenary session of the Governors of the Member States of the Bank, during the activities of the 2022 Annual Meetings held in Marrakesh, Morocco Bank Management, in the presence of senior officials and Governors of Member States.
The Minister for International Cooperation delivered a speech during the plenary session of EBRD Governors, in which she thanked the Kingdom of Morocco for hosting the annual meetings, and also expressed her appreciation for the efforts made by Odile Renaud Basso, Chair of the Bank’s Board of Directors. Board of Directors, and the joint work of the EBRD development team and the Egyptian government to support joint development efforts.
The Minister of International Cooperation stressed the importance of the meeting of the Board of Governors of the Bank in the current year, as it takes place at a very important moment and the successive challenges facing the Member States, which confirms the importance of joint work to establish, strengthen development partnerships and strengthen joint action to address the development challenges faced by Member States, explaining that the world is going through a very important conjuncture because it is facing a series of shocks and challenges related to the Corona pandemic, then to the Russian-Ukrainian war and its various repercussions, which cast a state of uncertainty at the level of the international community and drive up the prices of food and energy and impede progress in promoting development efforts.
During the meeting, the Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development agreed to begin expanding its operations on the African continent and expanding private sector participation.
Al-Mashat referred to the international cooperation and development finance framework for the Arab Republic of Egypt, which strengthens cooperation and joint work between the Egyptian state and multilateral and bilateral development partners, within the framework of the priorities policies and its strategy for achieving sustainable development. 2030, explaining that Egypt is sparing no effort to strengthen development cooperation efforts. With the participation of stakeholders from international institutions, multilateral development banks, the private sector and civil society, with the aim of achieving inclusive and sustainable growth and strengthening Egyptian leadership in the transition to a green economy.
She added that in light of the protracted relationship between the government and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the new Qatari Cooperation Strategy 2022-2027 was approved earlier this year, following intensive consultations that took place over the past year, in which all relevant national authorities, the private sector and civil society participated with the Bank. The European Union for Reconstruction and Development, in order to take into account all the national priorities and the objectives of the next stage in relation to the implementation of the work program of the government “Egypt Goes”, as well as the different presidential initiatives, notably the “Dignified Life” initiative for the development of the Egyptian countryside, whose strategy is based on three main axes: First: Supporting the efforts of the State to achieve and sustainable economic growth, second: accelerating the green transformation, and third: improving competitiveness, increasing growth rates and boosting the role of the private sector in development.
She highlighted the huge investments of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Egypt, which amounted to about 8.6 billion euros since 2012, in 145 projects, more than 76% of these funds were directed to the private sector, and Egypt was the largest country of operations in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region over the years 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Structural reforms to strengthen the resilience of the economy
The Minister of International Cooperation explained that the successive global challenges called for flexibility and continuity in economic reforms, to achieve recovery and the ability to cope with sudden shocks, adding that Egypt had adopted an ambitious program of economic reforms during the period 2016-2019, in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, which contributed to strengthening economic indicators and supporting the capacity of the Egyptian economy to cope with the shock of the Corona pandemic, until Egypt was one of the few countries to have been able to achieve positive growth during the year 2020 motivated by the economic and structural reforms implemented, and allowing it to announce a plan of emergency response for the Corona pandemic, expanding the reach of social welfare programs for the most needy groups and allocating over £100 billion in sadness to deal with the economic and social repercussions of the pandemic.
Al-Mashat indicated the government’s intention to press ahead with reforms, as the structural reform program was launched in April 2021, focusing on labor-intensive economic sectors. such as manufacturing, agriculture, communications and information technology, to improve the competitiveness and productivity of the economy and support its resilience to achieve comprehensive and sustainable economic growth.
Make Egypt a regional energy hub
In her speech, the Minister of International Cooperation reviewed the Egyptian state’s efforts to transform itself into a regional energy hub, in conjunction with rising global energy prices, and the global quest to transform into a green economy, explaining that Egypt has developed an integrated vision to increase the use of renewable energy through the Sustainable Energy Strategy 2035, taking advantage of its strategic location and rich resources, to become the one of the regional leaders in the field of renewable energies.
Al-Mashat highlighted the ambitious plans being implemented with the aim of increasing the share of electricity generated from renewable energy to 42% by 2035, through close cooperation with the private sector, which is become a central role in this sector through investments, as a result of the structural and legislative reforms implemented by the State and the enactment of Law No. 203 of 2014, in a way that improves competitiveness and provides opportunities the private sector to enter the renewable energy sector.
Al-Mashat drew attention to the important partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which has strengthened the country’s efforts in the renewable energy sector, as the bank recently led the financing of the largest large solar power plant for the private sector, worth $114 million, in Kom Ombo, Aswan, to generate 200 megawatts of renewable energy. The bank has also made available development funds for the implementation of a wind farm in the Gulf of Suez, in a way that reduces harmful emissions, provides clean energy and supports the state’s efforts to turn green.
She pointed out that the Egyptian government sees the private sector as a major partner and driver of economic growth, and a contributor to improving the competitiveness of the Egyptian economy and promoting sustainable development efforts. the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has helped to provide part of the financing for this project as part of the Green Cities and North Africa Program, and awards the prize to the best transactions and institutions in the infrastructure and energy sectors. energy in the world.
The speech by the Minister for International Cooperation also referred to Egypt’s role as a gateway to Africa and what it can do through cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and development, by transferring development expertise and experiences to the African continent, by harnessing the enormous and accumulated experiences of the Egyptian private sector, which implements many large development projects in the countries of the continent, explaining that the mechanism South-South cooperation can strengthen the process of joint cooperation between countries on the African continent. She affirmed Egypt’s support for the expansion strategy of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Minister for International Cooperation said that the climate issue has become of paramount importance for the international community, and that the United Nations Climate Conference, to be held in Egypt at the end of this year, is therefore of great importance to support the efforts of the international community to move from climate commitments to effective implementation, to close the climate finance gap in light of The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development believes that the world has need $6.9 trillion per year until 2030 to meet climate goals, which requires pushing for multilateral cooperation to find innovative financing solutions to support developing and emerging economies in light of the regional and international challenges.
She highlighted the importance of the need for innovative financing, blended finance tools and public-private partnerships to move towards implementing climate goals and meeting global commitments, highlighting ongoing discussions with multilateral and bilateral development partners to develop an innovative financing framework. which supports the efforts of Egypt and the international community to transition to a green economy.
The annual meetings of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, in Marrakech, Morocco, have indeed been held, after two years of virtual meetings due to the Corona pandemic, and I participated in them. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the Bank, by default.