Flexible and sustainable structural reforms have been instrumental in achieving economic recovery following the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat.
The minister added that these reforms have enabled Egypt to absorb the shocks of the pandemic.
Minister Al-Mashat’s remarks came during her participation in a virtual session organised by the World Bank Group.
The virtual meeting included four sessions featuring speakers from the Johns Hopkins University, the International Association for Official Statistics, the Ford Foundation, and the World Bank Group.
It also saw a ministerial level policy panel discussion featuring, among others, Jordan’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Wissam Rabadi, as well as Djibouti’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Ilyas M. Dawaleh.
The virtual event highlighted how the pandemic has underscored the increasing importance of trust, as a lack of adequate data collection and information leads to a lack of preparedness and greater economic shocks. It discussed ways to foster trust to strengthen the social contract, and shrink the magnitude of crises in the coming decades.
Minister Al-Mashat noted that cooperation helps in promoting the exchange of experiences and expertise. She highlighted that Egypt is one of several countries that learned much through the constant monitoring of coronavirus cases and regular communication on the country’s efforts to contain the virus.
The minister added that Egypt has a commitment towards transparency and data collection, most evidently seen by the state’s decisions to provide cash transfers to informal workers. It also worked hard to register over 1 million workers, and shift them from the informal to the formal labour force.
She also drew attention to the efforts made by her ministry in strengthening economic diplomacy with development partners through its three principles: regularly organising multi-stakeholder platforms through the Global Partnerships Narrative: People&Projects&Purpose (P&P&P); and mapping ODA financing according to the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Carmen Reinhart, Vice President and Chief Economist at the World Bank, said that the global economy faces great challenges that surpass the global financial crisis of 2008 whose economic repercussions are still ongoing. She referrei to the role of the World Bank Group in achieving multilateral cooperation to enhance economic growth and help countries out of the current crisis.
For his part, Farid Belhadj, Vice President of the World Bank for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), noted the importance of transparency in saving societies. He added that accurate information and data collection ensure that international institutions and governments respond to crises and challenges quickly and effectively.
Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation launched the ‘Global Partnerships for Effective Development’ platform in April. The platform aims to enhance effective cooperation through regular meetings between multilateral and bilateral development partners on the one hand, and ministries and government agencies on the other hand. It will define governmental financing priorities and coordinate projects according to the objectives of Egypt’s Vision 2030 agenda