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  • Wednesday, 22 November 2023

During the Launch of EIB’s Regional Hub in Egypt, Al-Mashat Highlighted that the Launch Establishes a New Phase of Joint Work and Enhances Multilateral Cooperation with Countries in the Region

● Choosing Cairo to launch the regional hub is a testimony of confidence in the excellence of relations between Egypt and European partners and culminates decades of joint work to implement projects that reflect positively on the citizens.

● The inauguration of the regional center coincides with the 20th anniversary of the founding of the EIB’s office in Egypt, which is the bank’s first office outside the EU.

● Over the course of 4 decades, the EIB has contributed to making soft development financing available in many priority sectors, most notably sustainable infrastructure, energy, health, and education.

The Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, confirmed that the launch of the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) regional hub in Egypt establishes a new phase of joint relations with the bank. It also advances multilateral cooperation and strengthens the bank’s relationship with countries in the region.

This came during H.E.’s participation in the launch activities of the EIB’s Regional Center in Egypt, in the presence of the Minister of the Environment, H.E. Dr. Yasmine Fouad,  Vice President of the EIB and Head of the Levant Region, Gelsomina Vigliotti,  Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt, Ambassador Christian Berger, and a number of representatives of development and national banks, environmental and economic experts.

Al-Mashat stressed that choosing Cairo to launch the EIB’s regional center is a testimony of confidence in the strength of relations between the Arab Republic of Egypt and European partners, and it also comes as a culmination of decades of joint work and cooperation to formulate and implement many priority development projects in various fields of development and green transformation which is reflected positively on the Egyptian citizen.

Al-Mashat stated, “We welcome the bank’s important step by launching its regional headquarters in Egypt, and I also welcome Mr. Guido Clary, as the new head of the regional headquarters, whose presence in Cairo will strengthen our partnership and open new opportunities to advance development efforts in the coming years,” noting that the presence of the EIB in the region is crucial to better meeting investment challenges, and increasing the impact of engagement with the government and private sectors. It also coincides with the 20th of the opening of the EIB’s office in Cairo in October 2003, the first office to be established outside the EU. 

Clary will head the EIB's regional center in Egypt, along with a team of technical and financial experts, and will cooperate through the regional center with 6 offices throughout the region.

Al-Mashat affirmed the Ministry of International Cooperation’s commitment to supporting the national efforts made by the Egyptian government and national strategies through international cooperation and development financing, which contributes to creating close links between the relevant authorities from the government and private sectors, civil society and development partners, and providing funding for priority projects in the framework of the national agenda and SDGs.

H.E. also referred to the joint statement that was signed between the Ministry and the EIB, in which it emphasized strengthening bilateral and multilateral partnerships, intensifying cooperation in order to enhance economic growth and private sector development and enhancing cooperation in many key sectors, including education and health care, transport, energy and environment.

H.E. stated that despite the pandemic that broke out in 2020, that period witnessed a significant development in relations with the EIB, and many projects were signed in the transport and sustainable infrastructure sector. 

With regard to the years 2021, 2022 and mid-2023, agreements with the bank for the government and private sectors worth approximately €1.13 billion, including €812 million of credit lines to commercial banks and private sector companies were signed.

Al-Mashat explained that during COP27, and in the presence of the Egyptian Prime Minister, the government signed about 30 cooperation documents to implement the projects of the NWFE and NWFE+ programs, in addition to the list of national green projects E-PACT, where the EIB was chosen as the main development partner in the transport sector. 

H.E. added that the EIB -which is considered the climate bank for the EU- has allocated €4 billion to cooperate with Egypt in the various pillars of the NWFE program and other sectors until 2030, and coordination is being carried out with national authorities and among them is the Ministry of Transport to benefit from technical assistance and stimulate private investment, through innovative financing mechanisms.

H.E. pointed out that blended financing is an important tool in projects implemented between Egypt and the EIB. In addition, the EU launched the Team Europe Initiative (TEI), which aims to unify efforts and pool European resources and expertise, to achieve more effectiveness and greater influence outside the EU. The EIB is part of the initiative, under which it will contribute to several projects including those under the NWFE programme.

During the high-level round table organized by the Ministry of International Cooperation, at the beginning of this week, on the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the launch of the NWFE program progress report, H.E. Prime Minister Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, witnessed the announcement of the launch of the bank’s center in the presence of Al-Mashat and  Vigilotti.

It is worth noting that the value of the current development portfolio is approximately €3.5 billion, which includes many financing instruments through soft loans, grants, technical support, and various development grants between the EU and the Bank, with a total of 16 projects to contribute to supporting development projects in various sectors, including: drinking water and sanitation, transportation, small and medium enterprises, air navigation, environment, and energy of all kinds. The Bank manages 5 development projects for the EU, and Egypt is considered the bank’s largest country of operations in the EU’s southern neighborhood.