Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat participated in the annual European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Bank (EBRD) meetings, which are being held virtually due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
As a representative of Egypt and governor of the EBRD, the minister will discuss the bank’s new economic recovery plan for 2021-2025. She will also participate in the Global Infrastructure Forum, which aims to enhance coordination between multilateral development partners with governments to develop sustainable and resilient infrastructure for emerging economies.
The virtual event will also announce the election of the EBRD’s new president, after the end of Suma Chakrabarty’s term.
New Economic Recovery Plan for 2021-2025
The meetings will discuss ways to strengthen emerging economies’ resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. The EBRD invests in 38 emerging markets, with Egypt one of the bank’s largest operations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The new five-year strategy for 2021-2025 seeks to strengthen economies through accelerating green investment, achieving environmental sustainability, promoting equal job opportunities for women, and pushing for digital transformation.
The EBRD is poised to become a majority green bank by 2025, increasing green financing to at least 50% of its total financing by 2025.
Last September, Minister Al-Mashat met with the Acting EBRD President to discuss the new strategy, which she emphasised is in line with the Egyptian government’s development visions. She added that it also falls in line with the Egyptian state’s endeavour to achieve environmental sustainability, promote equal opportunities for women, and push for digital transformation.
Elections for the New President
Three candidates are running for the EBRD presidency, including Polish Finance Minister Tadeusz Kosinski, former Italian Finance Minister Pierre Carlo Paduan, and Director General of the Treasury in France Odile Reno Basu. Each candidate delivered a speech and presentation before the shareholders and the Board of Governors on Monday.
Minister Al-Mashat also delivered a speech at the EBRD-hosted Global Infrastructure Forum, which aims to achieve multilateral cooperation to strengthen and develop infrastructure around the world.
The minister noted that strengthening economic diplomacy revives the spirit of multilateralism and promotes meaningful and purposeful partnerships to achieve development. This can be achieved by: regularly organising multi-stakeholder platforms, to ensure that all projects between development partners are streamlined and effectively coordinated; adopting a consistent Global Partnerships Narrative People&Projects&Purpose (P&P&P); and mapping ODA financing to the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) for all projects with multilateral and bilateral development partners.
The EBRD has invested over €6.5bn in more than 116 projects across Egypt covering all sectors, the most important of which are infrastructure, manufacturing, services, agriculture, banking and financial markets.
The EBRD recently issued a report that sees Egypt’s economy to grow at 2% in 2020 and rise to 5% growth next year, making it the only economy in the region to escape a recession in 2020.