Egypt and Italy have formalised two agreements that will provide technical support to Egypt’s Robiki Leather City, alongside providing financial support to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
The agreements were signed, on Monday, by Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat and Italy’s Ambassador to Egypt Giampaolo Cantini. The agreements come as part of other bilateral cooperation agreements between the Egyptian and Italian governments.
The project aims to establish a city specialising in producing and tanning leather in Badr City, alongside encouraging and supporting the competitiveness of leather production locally and abroad. It also looks to eliminate the output of environmental pollutants resulting from chemicals used in the tanning operations.
The minister added that the second agreement will amend the protocol for the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority, which is worth $12.9m. The agreement aims to support financing the purchase of equipment, and transfer technology and related technical assistance.
She said that her ministry looks to strengthen the ‘Global Partnerships for Effective Development’ through the principles of economic diplomacy. These principles include regularly organising multi-stakeholder platforms, to ensure that all projects between development partners are streamlined and effectively coordinated.
This will, in turn, accelerate the pace of development to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It will also ensure the adoption of a consistent Global Partnerships Narrative People&Projects&Purpose (P&P&P), and mapping ODA financing to SDGs for all projects with multilateral and bilateral development partners.
The ongoing cooperation portfolio with Italy amounts to about €73.6m, distributed across many vital sectors. This includes support provided for trade, industry, agriculture, SMEs, children’s rights, health, and economic and social development.
Meanwhile, the cooperation portfolio between Egypt and Italy as part of the debt swap programme is worth $350m. Of this, $149.9m has been allocated to the first phase, with $100m allocated to the second phase, through which about 88 projects were funded. The third phase was signed in 2012, and is worth about $100m.