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  • Wednesday, 17 May 2023

At the EBRD Annual Meetings in Uzbekistan: Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Holds Bilateral Meeting with Bank President Odile Renaud-Basso

● Al-Mashat confirms Egypt's support for the decision of the EBRD  Board of Directors to expand its operations in sub-Saharan Africa and Iraq.

● The Minister of International Cooperation discusses cooperation with the EBRD to attract the private sector to the "NWFE" program projects and stimulate the state's efforts in green hydrogen.

The Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, began her participation in the bank’s annual meetings in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, by holding a bilateral discussion with the EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso on the ongoing partnerships between Egypt  and the Bank, and future steps to enhance joint cooperation with regard to the energy pillar within the Country Platform for NWFE program, and to stimulate private sector  participation in development through technical support and investments.

The Minister referred to her physical participation for the first time in the annual meetings of the EBRD, pointing out the importance of the decisions that will be discussed by the Bank's Board of Governors in the current session of the meetings, especially the bank's endeavor to expand its operations to sub-Saharan Africa and Iraq, and to strengthen its role in addressing the repercussions of the war in Ukraine.

Al-Mashat noted Egypt's support for the decisions issued by the EBRD Board of Directors to amend its founding agreement to support the expansion of the scope of operations to include sub-Saharan Africa and Iraq, pointing to Egypt's distinguished location and its strong relations with the countries of the continent of Africa and the possibility that Egypt represents a gateway to the bank's expansions  in the continent.

In another context, Al-Mashat discussed the steps implemented in cooperation with the EBRD and development partners so far to enhance technical support in an effort to implement projects included in the energy pillar within the "NWFE" program, through which Egypt aims to reduce carbon emissions. This includes the implementation of renewable energy projects with a capacity of 10 gigawatts, and the closure of a number of stations that operate on conventional fuels, where the EBRD  is the main development partner to coordinate joint work between development partners to implement these projects.

Al-Mashat explored the mechanisms of cooperation with the bank to support the private sector in light of the state’s directions and the state ownership policy document, in light of the role that the bank plays in stimulating the private sector’s participation in development through financing of which the private sector acquires 75%, explaining that Egypt has many development experiences that can be transferred to the countries of the south through cooperation with development partners.

Recently, a financial agreement was signed for the project to establish a new wind farm - located near Ras Ghareb in the Gulf of Suez region - with a capacity of 500 megawatts, within the energy pillar of the "NWFE" program, with investments of $680 million. This is between the “Red Sea Wind Energy” alliance and a group of banks and international financing institutions. The EBRD contributes to financing the project at a value of $100 million for the Red Sea Wind Energy Company, with $50 million from the EBRD and $50 million from the Green Climate Fund.

Al-Mashat referred to the steps taken by the state in the field of green hydrogen during the past year, including the signing of a memorandum of understanding to launch the Mediterranean hydrogen partnership with the EU and the EBRD during COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, to promote investments in renewable energy. This is in addition to signing a letter of intent with the European Union at a value of €35 million to enhance the energy pillar within the “NWFE” program, and reduce the use of conventional energy, as well as signing a number of contracts for green fuel projects within the Suez Canal Economic Zone, which reflects the advanced steps taken by Egypt in this field.

For her part, EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso applauded the role of the Ministry of International Cooperation in supporting development cooperation efforts, and the Government of Egypt’s vision to stimulate the private sector through international partnerships.

The Arab Republic of Egypt has long-standing development cooperation relations with the EBRD, as it is a founding member and has become a full country of operations for the bank since 2012, which has strengthened the bank’s operations and investments in Egypt for the private and government sectors, to exceed €10 billion in 160 projects, where about 75% of these investments were directed to the private sector.

It is worth noting that the ministry launched the joint country strategy with the EBRD for the period 2022-2027, in early 2022, which works to enhance development efforts and stimulate the private sector, through three axes: Promoting a more inclusive economy for Egyptian businesses, women and youth, Accelerating Egypt’s green economy transition, and Enhancing the country’s competitiveness by supporting private-sector growth and strengthening governance.