Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat will attend the 24th St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Russia, on 2-5 June, which will include bilateral meetings, plenary sessions, and high-level discussions.
For the last 24 years, the forum has been a leading global platform for the business community to discuss economic challenges faced by emerging markets, and other countries.
This year, SPIEF is bringing together government representatives, heads of state, business leaders, and the creative community to create dialogue around the way forward. It will also involve formulating common objectives under the central theme “A Collective Reckoning of the New Global Economic Reality”.
As a keynote speaker, Minister Al-Mashat will be taking part in a panel discussion titled “World Fairs and International Cooperation as a Driver of Sustainable Global Development”, to discuss globalisation, technology, and Egypt’s progress in sustainable development.
Last year, Egypt was singled out for its sound policy choices and partnerships that supported economic growth, despite the challenges posed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In accordance with the theme posed by SPIEF that emphasises a new global economic reality, the world order has shifted to embrace global cooperation and multilateralism.
In another panel on Russian-African relations, Minister Al-Mashat will discuss business opportunities, economic partnerships, trade, and cooperation strategies in Africa.
Held in October 2019 in Sochi, Russia, the first Russian-African Summit and Economic Forum was co-chaired by the Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, acting chair of the African Union (AU) at the time.
The forum aided in developing economic investment and trade relations between Russia and Africa, allowing for diversified opportunities in Russian-African cooperation. The Egyptian cooperation Africa includes various sectors such as transportation, water, irrigation, construction, electricity, and energy.
On the sidelines of the forum, Minister Al-Mashat will also be holding bilateral meetings with: Russia’s Minister of Economic Development, Maxim Reshetnikov; Minister of Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov; alongside Sergey Stolyarov, CEO Russian Railways International (RZD); and Sergey Pavlov, First deputy CEO JSC Russian Railways.
These meetings aim to strengthen bilateral relations between Egypt and Russia on several fronts, including trade and investment.
A comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation agreement was signed between Egypt and Russia in October 2018, and entered into force in January 2021.
Egypt and Russia share a portfolio of bilateral cooperation that includes tourism, culture, electricity, energy and petroleum, including various projects such as the Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant project.
In the transportation sector, Russia has supported Egypt by supplying and manufacturing over 1,000 railway vehicles.
The two countries also signed a 50-year agreement that will establish a Russian Industrial Zone in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone). This is in addition to attracting over $7bn of investment and creating 35,000 jobs.
In terms of trade, Egypt is Russia’s top partner in Africa, holding 83% of its African trade volume and 33% of its overall trade volume with Arab countries.
This year’s SPIEF taps on several areas such as international partnerships to advance national development targets, and to capitalise on new technologies in response to global challenges. The forum aims to start strategic conversations where countries can learn from one another, fostering global economic growth and stability in emerging markets.