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  • Thursday, 13 July 2023

The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Signed a Memorandum of Understanding titled "Global Development Initiative" with the Chinese Side to Develop an Integrated Strategy for Development Cooperation between Egypt and China for the 1st Time in Beijing

● Signing a development financing agreement with the AIIB to finance the Abu Qir Metro in Alexandria at a value of €250 million.

● Signing 4 documents for the supply of equipment to the Ministry of Transport, the establishment of a vocational training center in the Suez Canal economic zone, and feasibility studies for the establishment of a vital safety laboratory.

● Al-Mashat discussed with the  Chinese International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) the strengthening of joint relations in light of the strategic partnership agreement between Egypt and China.

● Head of the Chinese Agency: The Egyptian-Chinese relations are a role model for South-South cooperation for the exchange of development experiences, knowledge and technology.

● Al-Mashat: Egypt values its relationship with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the bank's president affirms the bank's keenness to expand the scope of its development cooperation portfolio in Egypt.

● Discussions with the AIIB to expand private sector financing and promote the projects of the NWFE platform.

● Al-Mashat is in discussion with the Multilateral Cooperation Center for Development Finance (MCDF) to enhance cooperation in the field of financing feasibility studies, capacity-building and technical support.

The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat visited Beijing, China to participate in the 1st High-Level Meeting of the Forum on Global Action for Shared Development and witnessed the signing of several cooperation documents and memorandums of understanding that strengthen the Egyptian-Chinese partnership and advance development efforts in the country. Al-Mashat and the  Chinese International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) signed an MoU on the Global Development Initiative (GDI), launched by the Chinese President for 3 to 5 years, for the first time in light of the  common relations between the two countries, including areas and projects that will be implemented through the development cooperation program.

In a related context, Al-Mashat signed 4 cooperation documents with the head of the CIDCA to provide Chinese grants for the supply of equipment for the Ministry of Transport, the establishment of a vocational training center in the Suez Canal economic zone, and the preparation of a feasibility study for the third-level biosafety laboratory for the benefit of the Ministry of Health.

Moreover, and in light of cooperation with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Al-Mashat signed an agreement for the bank’s participation in financing the Abu Qir metro project in Alexandria at a value of €250 million. The Abu Qir railway, which connects the center of Alexandria with the Abu Qir area in the northeast of the governorate, is set to become an electric metro system that contributes to reducing traffic congestion in Alexandria, supports the transition to environmentally friendly transportation and reduces harmful emissions. The total cost of the project amounts to €1.5 billion, co-financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB),  the French Development  Agency (AFD) and the AIIB.

The Chinese International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA)

During the meeting with the Chairman of CIDCA Luo Zhaohui, Al-Mashat reviewed the most important milestones of the strategic partnership between Egypt and China, the development cooperation portfolio between the two sides, and the need to strengthen cooperation efforts to advance areas of common development. In this regard,  Zhaohui stated that Egypt is one of China's most important partners in the African continent and the Middle East region, and that the historical friendship relations extended since ancient civilisations and are currently witnessing great development based on the priorities of the two countries and their joint efforts to achieve development.

Al-Mashat stressed the importance of strengthening joint cooperation to transfer Egyptian-Chinese relations to broader horizons based on the follow-up of historical relations, and based on the strategic partnership agreement that was signed in 2014 during the visit of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, to China, which enhanced the level of relations. H.E. pointed out that Egypt's development priorities are consistent with the objectives of the Chinese "Belt and Road" initiative, as it enhances South-South cooperation.

For his part, the head of CIDCA applauded the opening speech delivered by the Minister in the session on Capital Mobilization and Sustainable Financing Development, and the two parties also confirmed that more opportunities could be worked on and built upon to further strengthen relations.

The two sides agreed that the Egyptian-Chinese cooperation is a model for South-South cooperation through the keenness of both sides to exchange experiences and transfer technology, the most prominent examples of which are the Satellite Collection, Integration and Testing Center and the EgyptSat 2 satellite for sensor applications. This is one of the most important projects being implemented by the Chinese grant provided to Egypt. The project represents a unique model for knowledge exchange and effective cooperation between the two countries, in addition to confirming the Chinese side's keenness to support Egypt's priorities in promoting scientific research in general, and supporting the Egyptian space program in particular.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

Al-Mashat held a meeting with the President of the AIIB Jin Liqun. They discussed the partnership between the two sides in implementing the Abu Qir metro project in Alexandria, as one of the most important projects which supports the Government of Egypt’s efforts to promote environmentally friendly transportation and zero-carbon emissions.

Al-Mashat affirmed that Egypt values its relationship with the AIIB as a strategic and developmental partner. The importance of this relationship is reflected in the bank's selection of Egypt to become the first country in Africa to host the annual meetings of the bank next September in Sharm El-Sheikh.

For his part, the President of the AIIB affirmed that Egypt enjoys a distinguished position at the level of joint relations, and that the bank is keen to expand the scope of the development cooperation portfolio and engage in discussions on cooperation in implementing the projects of the theNWFE program, especially projects related to the energy pillar. The two sides also discussed the need to strengthen the partnership with the AIIB and the private sector in Egypt to enhance the country's developmental priorities regarding expanding the base of private sector participation.

The development cooperation portfolio of the AIIB in Egypt records about $1.3 billion, including $300 million in water management, $360 million for budget support, €250 million for launching the Abu Qir electric metro, $210 million for financing 11 private sector companies in the field of renewable energy, and a $150 million line of credit for the National Bank of Egypt.

Multilateral Cooperation Center for Development Finance (MCDF)

In a related context, Al-Mashat met with the CEO of MCDF, Zhongjing Wang, which was established in 2020, to support developing countries and international financial institutions to meet sustainability challenges, and to promote infrastructure investments in different countries.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed advancing joint cooperation, especially to increase grants for the implementation of feasibility studies, enhancing capabilities, and developing skills and training. This  in addition to exchanging experiences in the light of south-south and triangular cooperation, where Al-Mashat affirmed the government's keenness to cooperate more with the center, especially with regard to technical support for the implementation of projects within NWFE.

Al-Mashat also reviewed the "Sharm El-Sheikh Guidebook for Just Financing", which Egypt launched during its presidency of COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, to enhance just financing efforts, where they discussed enhancing efforts to exchange expertise, knowledge and experiences in the field of promoting just financing for developing countries and emerging economies.

It is worth noting that the cooperation portfolio with China amounts to about $1.7 billion to implement many projects in various development sectors, including electricity, health, education, vocational training, and others. Recently, Al-Mashat witnessed the completion of the assembly and testing of the EgyptSat 2 satellite, done in cooperation with China, at the headquarters of the Egyptian Space Agency.