The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) officials affirmed on Monday the bank’s willingness to invest in developing the tourism sector in Egypt during their meeting with Egypt’s Minister of Tourism, Rania Al-Mashat.
The meeting included Bassem Kamar, lead economist in charge of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries at EBRD, and Rafik Selim, principal economist in the South and East Mediterranean at EBRD.
The meeting addressed the bank’s current and future projects in the Egyptian market.
Al-Mashat highlighted possible cooperation opportunities between her ministry and the bank in the coming period, stressing that Egypt currently has great opportunities for investment in the field of tourism.
She pointed out that the ministry, in cooperation with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Egyptian Hotels Association, introduced new hospitality criteria for Egyptian hotels, explaining that these criteria have not been updated since 2006.
The EBRD officials expressed the bank’s willingness to participate in the development of some Egyptian hotels.
In this regard, the minister called for holding a meeting between the bank and the Egyptian Tourism Federation and the Egyptian Hotel Association to discuss possible cooperation in that regard.
Moreover, the meeting touched on the training file and discussed ways of cooperation between the two sides in this regard.
Al-Mashat pointed out that the training of workers in the sector is one of the main axes of the Egypt`s Tourism Reform Programme that was launched last November with the aim of developing the tourism sector in Egypt.
The bank officials said that the EBRD has a training center in the field of hospitality in Jordan, and expressed their readiness to cooperate with the ministry in this area.
At the end of the meeting, the bank officials invited the minister to meet with the EBRD’s President during her expected participation in the ITB Berlin that will be held on 4 November, to develop a framework for cooperation between the bank and the ministry in the coming period.
On a different note, Al-Mashat visited Riyadh on Tuesday to attend the annual conference of the Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth funds, entitled “Future Investment Initiative”.
Al-Mashat participates as a speaker in the special session on tourism to be held by this edition of the conference.