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Private sector engagement is fundamental: International Cooperation Minister - Daily News Egypt

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Private sector engagement is fundamental: International Cooperation Minister

Egypt tries to use COVID-19 as opportunity to continue reforms, as country has very ambitious green recovery agenda: Al-Mashat

Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat has highlighted the importance of stakeholder capitalism.

Minister Al-Mashat’s remarks came during the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development that was held virtually on Monday.

She said that when talking about multilateralism today, it is no longer government with international institutions or government to government, it is really everybody together. Stakeholders include the private sector, civil society, and the government. 

“That’s why the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was a very important test,” the minister said, “However, it highlighted very prominently the need of all for us to work together to be able to push forward.” 

She said that by putting in place policies that will be able to push economies forward, there is the need for the private sector to be mindful of what is happening and to participate. 

Minister Al-Mashat said that it is also very important for the government to pave the way for that to happen. She assured that there’s a role for civil society, with the national community also able to play a very big role as well. 

“In Egypt’s case, we have been trying to push this concept once and twice and again, and we have shown in 2020, that despite the very tough financing pressures, because the government with the private sector and the international community had very clear goals, we were able to secure financing of close to $9.8bn,” she said.

The minister said that the total sum includes $6.7bn for sustainable development and $3.1bn to support Egypt’s private sector.

“This is how significant the topics that we are pushing for through the principles of stakeholder capitalism, including inclusive economies, including Fourth Industrial Revolution, including better education modules, environmental stewardship, and governance,” Minister Al-Mashat said, “These are some of the principles, but this is what we try to weave in our work and also collect and collaborate with the different stakeholders to push forward.” 

She said that Egypt stands out as a very good development story, and a symbol of great success when it comes to how there was a transformation in energy, electricity, and a focus on a green recovery. 

The Minister assured that there is plenty to be done still, and that Egypt is keen on creating inclusive economies. This includes closing the gender gap, creating more jobs, and trying to push the potential of the economy, which the government cannot do on its own. This is where the support of the private sector is fundamental, Minister Al-Mashat said.

“Although the pandemic could have derailed us from our development path, the government has come out saying that it’s not going to derail us from our sustainable development goal (SDG) agenda,” she said, “On the contrary, we tried to reinforce and use this pandemic as an opportunity to continue reforming, and that’s why we have a very ambitious green recovery agenda with very clearly identified mitigation and adaptation policies.”

The minister noted that these policies are being undertaken with different private sector companies, and also with the international community. 

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