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  • Thursday, 11 May 2023

Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat Participates in the IsDB’s Private Sector Forum at the Bank’s Annual Meetings in Saudi Arabia

● Enhancing resilience requires integration between the efforts of governments, development partners and the private sector to face shocks, achieve recovery and address  long-term changes.

● Concessional financing and guarantees from multilateral development banks stimulate attracting private sector investments and reduce financing risks.

● The government is working to maximize the returns from cooperation with development partners through the principles of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC).

● CEO ITFC Hany Sonbol applauded the annual report of the Ministry of International Cooperation and its role in demonstrating comprehensive partnerships and integration between development partners.

H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, said that the successive crises that the world is going through, starting with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian-Ukrainian war, the supply chain challenges, and the significant increase in the cost of financing; all reflects the importance of strengthening the resilience of countries, institutions, and even individuals and families. H.E. pointed out that resilience enhances the ability to absorb shocks, recovery, and bring about structural transformation that enables for a better way  to deal with uncertainty in the long term, in addition to finding innovative  solutions to crises, according to the definition of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

This came during her participation in a panel discussion on "CEOs Session: Building Resilience through Private Sector Partnerships", as part of the activities of the annual meetings of the Islamic Development Bank in Saudi Arabia, along with H.E. Oussama A. Kaissi, CEO of Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC); Eng. Hani Sonbol, CEO of Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC); and Mohamed Kettani, CEO of Attijariwafa Bank. This included government representatives from 57 member countries, senior officials and heads of international and regional organizations participating in the IsDB annual meetings.

Al-Mashat indicated that resilience and the ability to face risks ensures the continuation of development efforts and that they will not be affected by the repercussions of successive crises, which requires effective cooperation from the relevant stakeholders, whether the private sector, international institutions and civil society, to work side by side with governments to find effective solutions. 

H.E. added that at the present time, in the backdrop of ongoing global crises, companies, it is crucial for small and medium enterprises, and families, to build resilience; alongside adopting a transparent approach, partnerships with relevant stakeholders, alongside adopting increasing private sector participation in development efforts.

The Minister spoke about the framework of international cooperation and development financing in Egypt, and the role played by the Ministry of International Cooperation to enhance adaptability by applying the principles of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC), which are based on: country ownership, focus on results, inclusive partnerships, transparency, and mutual accountability

The Minister added that continued, "Empowering the private sector in any country in light of the current global changes requires strengthening development financing and facilitating access to financing, and in light of what we are witnessing today, it is necessary to expand blended financing mechanisms to reduce risks and stimulate participation of the private sector through its investments. Through integration between the efforts of the multilateral development banks, for example,  when we look at the business model of the IsDB, we find that it provides financing in addition to investment guarantees through its subsidiaries. This is a similar model in the World Bank, through the guarantees provided by MIGA. This is what we mean by integrating the efforts of international institutions to push for private sector engagement.”

Moreover, H.E. stated that the policies set by governments must also be characterized by clear factors, which are: inclusivity, digitization, and green transformation. These are major and pivotal factors that can unlock private sector participation, as well as ensure inclusion and the application of ESG principles in corporate strategies to ensure comprehensive and sustainable growth.

Al-Mashat also spoke about COP27, explaining that advancing climate finance was one of the important pillars that was discussed, in terms of overcoming the financing gap. The Minister pointed to Egypt’s Country Platform for the  Nexus for Water, Food and Energy program, the (NWFE program), is a platform for mobilizing investments and climate financing mechanisms.

H.E. referred to the ongoing discussions to implement the World Bank's evolution development roadmap, and the global call for reform and restructuring of multilateral development banks, explaining that it is a pivotal moment to achieve more integration between various international institutions to advance development efforts in different countries.

During the session, Hani Sonbol, CEO of ITFC applauded the annual report of the Ministry of International Cooperation, describing it as an important initiative that reflects the strategic partnerships for comprehensive and integrated strategies of all international financing institutions and development partners operating in Egypt.

In this regard, Al-Mashat commented by saying that the idea of the annual report is to present the efforts that have been made by development partners, reflecting integration, continuous coordination and positive competitiveness to implement the best and most effective development cooperation programs in the country, based on national priorities, explaining that international cooperation efforts are based on economic diplomacy pillars, including multi stakeholder platforms, mapping ODA to the SDGs, and the global partnerships narrative.