Private sector engagement is a powerful force in development cooperation for providing better livelihoods, creating innovative solutions, and pushing ahead towards transformational action to meet the 2030 Agenda. Since our development financing is purpose-driven, mapped according to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the Government of Egypt recognizes that engaging with the private sector is critical to accelerate the private sector’s embracement of environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles. This helps us to achieve transformative changes and positive social impact.
The Government of Egypt is committed to pushing ahead with the second wave of reforms and accelerating the delivery of development financing to achieve a more sustainable future.
The Ministry of International Cooperation coordinated a detailed matrix of structural reforms with the Ministries of Finance, the General Authority for Investment, Social Solidarity, Transportation, Communication and Information Technology, Trade and Industry, Public Business Sector, Justice, Environment, Irrigation and Water Resources, National Council for Women, and the Financial Regulatory Authority.
This was followed by negotiations on a "Development Policy Finance" (DPF) Framework with the World Bank, led by the Ministry of International Cooperation in December 2020. The DPF framework is based on four principles, namely: 1. Preserving Macroeconomic gains; 2. Promoting access to women’s economic opportunities; 3. Strengthening Firm and Financial Sector Resilience; 4. Improving Infrastructure Sector Governance for Greater Private Sector Participation This framework will provide the springboard of sectoral policies which constitute the Government’s second wave of structural reforms.
The Ministry of International Cooperation secured development financing agreements in 2020 with a total of $3.191 billion through direct financing to private sector companies as well credit lines to commercial banks for the financing of SMEs. First: Prioritization; through the Ministry of International Cooperation’s Multi-Stakeholder Platforms to support economic cooperation between Egypt and its multilateral and bilateral partners in the field of digitalization and entrepreneurship.
Second: Idea Generation: Through addressing challenges and opportunities in the tech-sphere in coordination with development partners to search for new innovative ideas that can be implemented and encourage technology transfer through financing agreements on technical assistance. Third: Project Implementation; looking at the design and implementation of all digitalization and entrepreneurship projects. Fourth: Monitoring and Optimization; integrating the use of ICT solutions to ensure agility and efficiency in monitoring the implementation of projects; in addition to the Ministry of International Cooperation activities.
To scale up and sustain increased private sector engagement, the Ministry of International Cooperation launched the “Country Private Sector” diagnostic in 2020 with the IFC, titled “Creating Markets in Egypt: Realizing the Full Potential of a Productive Private Sector.” The report revealed that the launch of Egypt’s homegrown reform program improved macroeconomic stability and helped restore confidence in the economy through predictive policies that contributed to increasing the share of private investment in the economy over the recent years. According to the report, there are plenty of opportunities ahead for Egypt to harness the full potential of a productive private sector. First, Egypt has a critical opportunity to leverage its ICT sector and use it as the gateway for a digital economy that will be based on innovative solutions to healthcare, transport and learning. Second, there is an opportunity for the country to promote agribusiness and private sector investment in agriculture through strengthening supply chains and improving the adoption of food standards. Third, private investment in the health sector can also foster partnerships for innovation.
Through fostering lasting linkages in the year ahead, the Ministry of International Cooperation aims to catalyze and galvanzie efforts in promoting private sector engagement by putting people first. The role of the private sector can create transformational impact through job creation, digitalization and sustainability to address the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges.
Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions.
Promote development- oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services.
Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.
Substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training.
Progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40% of the population at a rate higher than the national average.