The Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Dr. Sahar Nasr chaired the Egyptian delegation at the 42nd annual meeting of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group’s Board of Governors on 18 May 2017, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
At the beginning of her speech, Dr. Nasr expressed her sincere appreciation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the generous hospitality and excellent organization of the 42nd annual meeting. In addition, she thanked IDB President Dr. Bandar Hajjarfor for his great leadership of IDB and achievement of continuous success.
The Minister stressed that Egypt was always keen on integration on the regional level and on cooperation with all countries with which it enjoys kind relations in order to achieve integration and inclusive sustainable development. She pointed out that the Islamic world was facing many challenges threatening development, most importantly high rates of poverty, unemployment, deterioration of infrastructure, declining standards of living for a large sector of society. Such circumstances have led to the emergence of extremism and terrorist groups obsessed with destruction. However, we still do have the opportunities and the potentials to overcome these challenges and to build a better future for our country.
Dr. Nasr noted that Egypt extended its hands to all countries to join efforts in the face of risks and common challenges, to cooperate in various fields so as to achieve development and attract investment, which will ultimately lead to serving the interests of the peoples of the Arab and Islamic countries.
During the past period, according to Dr. Nasr, Egypt has realized many accomplishments on economic and social levels. Besides, it has carried out economic reforms in many sectors. The parliament recently approved the new investment law, fostering an attractive investment climate, and including legislations to make facilitate matters for investors.
The Minister explained that she was looking forward to exchanging ideas and views on activating mechanisms of collective action and joint cooperation to fight poverty, create employment opportunities, attract investments, improve infrastructure and optimize the exploitation of wealth and natural resources. She stressed the importance of empowering women and focusing on formulating policies and programs that contributed to improving their economic, social and political conditions. The Minister also referred to discussing youth issues seriously to render them an effective force in the development and growth process via delivering appropriate training and developing programs that enhance youth skills and potentials, and encouraged innovation.
The developmental role of Arab funds and institutions in financing projects and supporting development efforts of Arab governments was discussed and emphasis was laid on the significance of such meetings for following up and developing joint Arab economic action. According to Dr. Nasr, improving standards of living for Arab citizens required continued efforts of sustainable development throughout all Arab states. This would increase the challenge of financing, which is at the core of the development process, and the most important requirement of investment and production.
The Minister participated at a number of meetings on the sidelines of the IDB annual meeting, including the 24th Board of Governors meeting of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit, the 10th annual meeting of the General Assembly of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, and the 12th meeting of the General Assembly of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation.
It worth mentioning that IDB Group was established in 1973 and consists of five entities: the Islamic Development Bank, Islamic Research and Training Institute, Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector and International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation. Currently, the Bank has 56 state members. Egypt's share in the Bank is 357,965 shares, equivalent to 7.08%, which renders Egypt the seventh largest shareholder in the Bank's capital.