Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat met, on Thursday, with Reem Al Hashimy, the UAE’s Minister of State for International Cooperation, within the framework of St. Petersburg 2021 International Economic Forum (SPIEF), which takes place in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on 2-5 June.
During the meeting, Al-Mashat discussed the economic relations between Egypt and the UAE, affirming the government of Egypt’s keenness to constantly develop joining relations within the framework of the historic relations tying both countries.
Minister Al-Mashat also discussed joint cooperation through the joint Egyptian-Emirati Higher Committee, founded in 1988. The Minister referred to the importance of activating the committee in order to enhance joint cooperation across various sectors between both countries, which was welcomed by Al Hashimy.
The meeting tackled discussions about the Expo 2020 Dubai, as it was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the participation of several countries in order to present the latest systems in the fields of architecture and technology. Al Hashimy referred to the preparations of Egypt’s National Day taking place on 31 October, as part of the EXPO’s activities.
Minister Al-Mashat expressed her aspiration to strengthen joint economic relations through UAE’s financial institutions, such as the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. Al-Mashat emphasised that cooperative relations will catalyze both countries’ economies pushing towards the national and global development targets. This comes within the framework of the consistent Global Partnerships Narrative strategy of the Ministry of International Cooperation, that puts People at the Core, Projects in Action & Purpose as the Driver.
The Minister referred to the role of the Ministry of international Cooperation in developing economic relations with multilateral and bilateral development partners, through the principles of Economic Diplomacy; Multi-Stakeholders Platform, the Official Development Assistance (ODA) mapping to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Global Partnerships Narrative.
Both ministers discussed the importance of multilateral partnerships during the COVID-19 pandemic, and emphasized the role these partnerships play in supporting development efforts of governments across several countries.
The cooperation between Egypt and the UAE covers various sectors and dates back to 1974 through the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. The fund has contributed in financing 17 projects, with development financing worth $1.7 billion across several sectors; in addition to 2 development financing grants that amount to $380m. The Emirati grant was also signed in 2013 to implement development projects in Egypt to push for the advancement of the energy, housing, agriculture, education, health and transportation sectors; with a development financing worth $5bn.
The cooperation with the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development extends to cover the micro enterprises in Egypt through a development financing agreement signed in 2014, worth $200m.
The SPIEF is an economic event that takes place on an annual basis since 1997. It has been a leading global platform for the business community to discuss economic challenges faced by Russia, emerging markets, and other countries for the last 24 years.
More than 10,000 people from over 120 countries participate in the forum annually as it brings together heads of state from governments, ministers, deputy prime ministers, and CEOs of major Russian and international companies, foreign banks, leading experts and other political and business leaders.