صدى البلد البلد سبورت قناة صدى البلد صدى البلد جامعات صدى البلد عقارات
Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Al-Mashat, Spain's Minister of Trade Discuss Joint Co-op


Mon 12 Jul 2021 | 03:07 PM
NaDa Mustafa

Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Rania Al-Mashat met with Spain’s Minister of Trade Xiana Méndez Bértolo virtually, through video conference, to discuss areas of joint cooperation between Egypt and Spain, in regards to the status of the current projects portfolio and the possibility of future partnerships.

 

This meeting came within the framework of the periodic meetings Minister Al-Mashat holds with multilateral and bilateral development partners in order to bolster Egypt’s regional and global economic cooperation.

During the meeting, Al-Mashat discussed with Bértolo the possibility of launching an innovative mechanism for enhancing economic cooperation so as to promote economic growth and raise employment rates in both countries. They also tackled the projects to be implemented within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that allocates EUR 300 million for the strengthening of financial cooperation between Egypt and Spain.

The two ministers have as well discussed the status of the ongoing projects carried out within the framework of the joint cooperation between Egypt and Spain. The portfolio encompasses several projects, including a cultural project that aims to develop and preserve Luxor’s archaeological sites; in addition to another project that supports the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt by providing credit lines; and an infrastructure development project focusing on the inauguration of sewage treatment plants in Giza, Assiut, and Aswan.

Al-Mashat emphasized the importance of reflecting international cooperation and development financing between both countries, on the national priorities and exerted efforts to achieve Egypt’s Vision 2030, which is aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. She praised the Egyptian-Spanish relations in the field of international cooperation, which accordingly impacts the achievement of several development projects in Egypt.

The minister stated that the Ministry of International Cooperation is working towards advancing international partnerships and enhancing economic cooperation with the multilateral and bilateral development partners through the three principles of Economic Diplomacy; Multi-Stakeholders Platform, the Official Development Assistance (ODA) mapping to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Global Partnerships Narrative that puts “People at Core” through “Projects in Action,” with “Purpose as the Driver”.

On her part, Spain’s Minister of Trade H.E. Xiana Méndez Bértolo, applauded the Egyptian economy’s positive growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, and discussed the wide horizons of future projects during 2021, expressing that this positive growth goes back to the financial and monetary structural reforms implemented before 2020, in addition to implementing major development projects across vital sectors such as renewable energy, water, and sanitation, as well as infrastructure.

Minister Bértolo affirmed the Spanish companies’ interest in expanding and investing in Egypt, as it is their top leading destination in Africa, and expressed the Government of Spain’s keenness on supporting these companies, pointing out that Egypt is one of the most important foreign investment markets for Spanish companies, especially across the sectors of transportation, infrastructure, solar energy, and water treatment.

The history of cooperation between Egypt and Spain dates back to the 1990s, as two cooperation protocols were signed. The first cooperation agreement was signed on February 10, 1998, where Spain provided EUR 225 million of development financing to Egypt. The second agreement was signed in 2008, via a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) worth EUR 250 million.

The portfolio of cooperation between both countries since 2012, amounts to EUR 190 million covering various sectors such as water treatment, energy, housing, and SMEs. The cooperation framework covers as well the offering of grants by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) to develop the health and tourism sectors. Both countries’ development agendas also focus on instilling empowering and inclusive communities for women and youth, as well as a transparent and just development ecosystem via Egypt's National Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development.

In light of the importance of multilateral cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, in collaboration with the London School of Economics (LSE) launched her book titled "Stakeholder Engagement Through Economic Diplomacy", to document, Egypt’s pioneering experience in the field of international cooperation and development financing, along with the launch of the ODA-SDG map in an international event attended by eminent international economic figures and institutions.