Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat stressed that the traditional tools of financing are no longer sufficient to meet the requirements of different countries, especially emerging countries and countries that are going through stages of economic transformation, to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
This prompted the international community and financing institutions to mobilize international community efforts and work together to reach innovative financing tools that would enable it to move forward towards achieving comprehensive and sustainable development.
Al-Mashat said that in light of the high financing gap for SDGs globally reaching $3.7trn, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the inability of current tools to meet the needs of various countries, it has become necessary for blended financing and innovative financing tools based on partnerships between relevant parties, to play a vital and important role in providing the necessary funds to bridge the financing gap for SDGs.
Al-Mashat’s remarks came during the expanded session of talks with Jay Collins, Vice President of Citibank Group for Corporate and Investment Banking, on innovative mechanisms and tools for financing SDGs. The meeting was also attended by Mohamed Maait, Minister of Finance; Ahmed Kouchouk, Deputy The Minister of Finance; Ater Hanoura, Head of the Central Department of Public-Private Partnership; and a high-level attendance of multilateral and bilateral development partners.
Representatives of the multilateral and bilateral development partners attended the meeting, namely Jonathan Cohen, US Ambassador in Cairo; Elena Panova, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations Office in Egypt; Heike Harmgart, Regional Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean at EBRD; Ahmed Zayed, Executive Director for Egypt and Djibouti at the African Development Bank; and Ove Gillin, Senior Counsellor of the German Embassy in Cairo. Several representatives of the private sector also took part, including Sherif El-Gabaly, Head of the Exporters Division of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC), and Alaa Ezz, Secretary-General of FEDCOC.
The Minister of International Cooperation pointed to the importance of this meeting in light of the ministry’s endeavour to consolidate relations between development partners on the one hand and the government and private sectors in Egypt on the other, to introduce the most important innovative financing tools, and how to enhance the participation of the private sector in development through these tools, especially in the context of the state’s endeavour to shift towards a green economy, and to enhance green finance that supports the implementation of environmentally friendly projects, in a way that enables the state to achieve a comprehensive and sustainable recovery from the repercussions of the Corona pandemic.
For his part, Minister of Finance called for cooperation with international financial institutions and the government to transfer the necessary expertise to expand knowledge of the latest green financing mechanisms, to stimulate investment in green projects, as well as build the capacities of state workers to develop their skills in order to absorb these innovative mechanisms and enhance benefit.
The Minister of Finance reviewed the Egyptian experience in issuing the first green bonds in the region to finance environmentally friendly projects, stressing the role that international institutions must play in facilitating the state’s demand for these tools to finance development and provide the technical and technical support necessary to advance efforts aimed at achieving sustainable development.