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  • Monday, 10 July 2023

During the Closing Speech at the European Investment Bank MED conference | Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation: The EIB provides soft development finance worth €4 billion to implement NWFE projects until 2030

● The sustainable infrastructure sector witnessed a great development under  the leadership of H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

● Continuous cooperation with development partners to meet the country's priorities in the sectors of infrastructure and green transformation

The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat  delivered the closing speech of the 2023 edition of the EIB MED Conference, which is jointly organized by the Spanish Presidency of the European Union and the Union for the Mediterranean, and held under the theme “Connectivity  in the Mediterranean: Together for a Better Future.” This included the participation of Gelsomina Vigliotti, Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Hassan Abdallah, Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, Ambassador Nasser Kamel, Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, and other government representatives, leaders of the EIB, the private sector, international financing institutions, and relevant stakeholders.

In her speech, the Minister said that the infrastructure sector in Egypt has witnessed significant growth over the past years, mainly driven by strong political will, and the country’s  efforts to enhance effective partnerships between the government and private sectors, and the expansion of fourth-generation cities and green buildings to increase energy efficiency and advanced infrastructure. This includes the New Administrative Capital inauguration and airports, ports and transport networks were developed.

The Minister referred to the efforts made by the Government of Egypt  to develop 14 smart cities and develop urban communities in a way that enhances investment opportunities for the private sector to participate in the development of infrastructure, noting that H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, launched the digital transformation initiative with the aim of enhancing the efficiency of the government sector and improving  services provided electronically to citizens.

Al-Mashat explained that the Ministry of International Cooperation is working to enhance the country's development priorities in accordance with the ongoing plans, and in this regard, the development cooperation portfolio includes more than 36 projects to achieve the SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, with a value of $5.7 billion, representing approximately 22% of the total portfolio, 30 projects under SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities with a value of $1.5 billion, and  34 projects for SDG  7:  Affordable and Clean Energy with a value of $5.9 billion.

H.E. added that, "In light of the continuous efforts to attract more investments for sustainable infrastructure in the country and the transition from climate pledges to implementation, the national platform for green projects has been launched, the NWFE program, the nexus of water, food and energy projects. This aims to accelerate the pace of green transformation and implement the climate action agenda. In light of the implementation of the national strategy for climate change, pointing out that during COP27, about 30 cooperation documents, letters of intent, and a partnership agreement were signed to implement the program's projects, in addition to a list of green projects.

H.E. noted that Egypt is the largest country of operations for the EIB in the region, and the bank has the second largest ongoing development cooperation portfolio with Egypt, with a total of €3.5 billion. During COP27, Egypt and the EIB took another step to strengthen their long-term cooperation on sustainable infrastructure and clean energy transition by signing a partnership agreement within the energy axis of the NWFE program, in addition to other agreements in transport and water, as well as enhancing food security. H.E.  explained  that in light of the future cooperation strategy with the EIB, it is scheduled to provide about €4 billion for projects of the NWFE projects and others in Egypt.

Moreover, H.E. touched on joint efforts with the EIB to enhance private sector participation in development. Half of the EIB's portfolio in Egypt since 1979 has been allocated to the private sector, and in 2022, the bank provided a total amount of approximately €662 million to banks and equity funds. In addition, during the visit of EIB VP Vigliotti in the region, including to Egypt, $15 million was recently signed from the EIB to the Bank of Alexandria, to finance small and medium-sized projects, with the aim of supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy investments in the sectors Industrial, commercial and agricultural services carried out by private companies.

In her speech, the EIB VP applauded the fruitful cooperation with the government and the Ministry of International Cooperation to enhance development efforts, and the NWFE program was referred to as a practical example of the interdependence between mitigation and adaptation projects in the Mediterranean region.