Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation and Governor at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Rania Al-Mashat has met with top officials from the EBRD.
The representatives included: Francis Mallige, Director of Financial Institutions Department at the EBRD; Heike Harmgart, Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region at the bank; and officials of the bank’s office in Egypt.
The meeting took place in the presence of Sherine Taha, Assistant to the Minister of International Cooperation handling the portfolio of international financing and economic research institutions.
The two sides aimed to discuss ways of enhancing private sector engagement in implementing the national development agenda, in addition to discussing areas of cooperation with the EBRD.
Also on the agenda was a review of the status of ongoing projects and the possibility of future strategic cooperation frameworks. The meeting also included preparations for the EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso’s first visit to Egypt.
Minister Al-Mashat congratulated the EBRD officials on the $100m agreement it recently signed with Banque du Caire.
Egypt and the EBRD share a strong development cooperation portfolio, as a result of the Ministry of International Cooperation’s framework to enhance multilateralism to support implementation of the national development agenda.
The agenda will lead to Egypt being at the top of the EBRD’s investments in 2020 among the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region (SEMED).
Minister Al-Mashat also pointed out the available opportunities aimed at strengthening cooperation with the EBRD. This includes the possibility of directing development funds, according to the specific development plans of the different governorates.
The Minister and the EBRD officials discussed the possible means to use the multi-stake holder platforms to promote green financing tools provided by the bank to the private sector.
The Ministry of International Cooperation aims to make 2021 the year of strengthening private sector engagement. This will provide the sector with a greater role in achieving development targets, including the creative force of the small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Minister Al-Mashat reviewed the achievements with multilateral and bilateral development partners over 2020 despite the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which challenged world economies at the beginning of last year.
She added that the Egyptian economy has shown resilience and solidity in responding to the pandemic, according to various performance indicators.
Minister Al-Mashat also pointed out that 2020 witnessed development financing agreements within her Ministry’s portfolio worth $9.8bn. A total of $6.7bn of this amount was secured for financing sovereign projects, whilst $3.19bn was secured in support of the private sector.
From his part, Mallige highlighted the bank’s role in developing partnerships with Egypt to improve the competitiveness of companies. This has also gone towards supporting the role played by banks in financing SMEs through credit lines.
He pointed out that the bank’s new strategy is based on reducing carbon emissions to strengthen sustainable development, providing equal opportunities and empowering women, as well as applying digital transformation.
Notably, since the start of the bank’s operations in 2012, the EBRD has invested over €7.1bn in more than 125 projects across various sectors in Egypt. These include the financial sector, the agriculture sector, the industrial and trade sector. It comes in addition to financing sustainable infrastructure projects in the energy, water and sanitation services, and transportation sectors.