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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Al-Mashat: We Aim to Develop Future Strategy with EBRD


Tue 28 Sep 2021 | 02:02 PM
NaDa Mustafa

Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, met with Heike Harmgart, Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The meeting was attended by senior officials from both the Bank and the Ministry to follow up on the ongoing negotiations to prepare for the new country strategy for the period 2021/2026. The participants also pondered the outcomes of the workshops that have been recently convened with stakeholders and representatives of various governmental bodies to prepare for the country strategy in line with the national development priorities.

The meeting witnessed agreement on a number of activities during the coming period, including the preparation of a high-level workshop to reach a consensus on the course of action during the next five years. The meeting also touched on the ongoing partnerships for this year with the EBRD, especially the Bank’s role in stimulating the private sector and enhancing its participation in development efforts through the provision of development financing.

H.E. Al-Mashat, said that negotiations with the EBRD come within the framework of the role played by the Ministry of International Cooperation to promote joint action with development partners to support Egypt’s development vision, explaining that the Ministry is currently working on developing future cooperation strategies with many development partners; namely the United Nations, the World Bank Group (WBG), and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The Minister explained that the Ministry is collaborating with development partners to exchange views and enhance communication amongst governmental institutions in order to forge transparent strategies centered on effective governance. This shall ensure the strategies’ consistency with Egypt's Vision 2030, as well as the Egyptian government’s programme “Egypt Kicks Off” 2018/2022, to advance ongoing development efforts.

Al-Mashat underscored the strategic partnership between Egypt and the EBRD that aims at integrating both the public and private sectors into development interventions, indicating that- besides being one of the founding countries of the EBRD- Egypt now stands as one of the Bank’s largest countries of operations; side by side promoting financial inclusion, women's empowerment, and digitization.

The Minister further stated that the negotiations with the EBRD will include all concerned national authorities to ensure that the priorities for each sector are secured, elaborating that the Ministry will work on follow-up and coordination with regards to negotiations to set forth a future strategy that achieves Egypt's aspirations towards comprehensive and sustainable development and green transformation.

In the same vein, Heike Harmgart, Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), expressed her content at launching the negotiations with the Egyptian Government to prepare the 2021/2026 strategy in continuation of the Bank's role in fostering Egypt's Vision 2030.

Harmgart referred to the historical relations between Egypt and the EBRD, as Egypt was able to carve out a niche for itself as one of the largest operations countries for the Bank in a short time, accounting for the Bank’s investments in Egypt that reached EUR 7.4 billion since 2012, 75% of which were dedicated for the private sector. Harmgart posited that these amounts are not merely reflective of the magnitude of development financing, rather they represent a solid proof of the allocation of resources to innovative development partnerships across all sectors.

Harmgart articulated the role of the Ministry of International Cooperation, represented in conducting several negotiations with other development partners to prepare future strategies. She further commended H.E. Al-Mashat’s commitment to coordinating and harmonizing different strategies to elicit the required support for national development efforts through joint action.

The Ministry of International Cooperation has launched governmental negotiations with the EBRD over the course of the past few days, tackling the preparations for the new country strategy for cooperation 2021/2026. Representatives of 17 national government institutions participated in the first round of government negotiations, including: Finance; Planning and Economic Development; Transportation; Environment; Electricity and Renewable Energy; Education and Technical Education; Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities; Industry, Trade and Small Industries; Social Solidarity; Irrigation and Water Resources; Local Development; Manpower and Immigtrion; Agriculture and Land Reclamation; Higher Education and Scientific Research. There were representatives as well from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), The National Council for Women (NCW), and the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) .

The negotiations between the Government of Egypt and the EBRD on the new strategy followed the approval of the Bank’s three-fold strategy resting on: supporting the transition to a green economy and enhancing environmental sustainability; promoting equal opportunities; and accelerating digital transformation.

In 2020, Egypt was the EBRD’s largest country of operations in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region, accounting for more than €1 billion to finance 21 projects, which comprise 47% of the bank’s total investments in the region. Egypt was also the largest country of operations for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019. The current portfolio of cooperation between Egypt and the Bank during 2021 amounts to about $ 1.6 billion.