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  • Thursday, 25 January 2024

During the Activities of the 10th Egypt - European Union Association Council in Brussels, Al-Mashat discusses with the European Commissioner for Digital Transformation bilateral cooperation with the European work team and confirms the depth of Egyptian-European relations.

● Al-Mashat: Digitization initiatives enhance the participation of the private sector, entrepreneurship companies, climate action, and women’s empowerment.

● Margrethe Vestager: Digital transformation is one of the European Union’s cooperation priorities because of its importance in strengthening all fields.

The Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, held a bilateral meeting with the European Commissioner for Digital Transformation, Margrethe Vestager, in light of the role assigned to the Ministry of International Cooperation to strengthen economic relations with countries and regional and international organizations to support the country’s development efforts.

During the meeting, Al-Mashat which comes as part of the Minister’s participation in the 10th Egypt - European Union Association Council in Brussels - stressed the importance and depth of Egyptian-European strategic relations extending over decades, and the government’s keenness to develop these relations towards broader horizons in a way that meets development priorities and enhances joint efforts to confront economic challenges and promote climate action.

Al-Mashat highlighted the ongoing cooperation with the European Union and the expansion of blended financing to support various sectors, including sustainable transport, water, agriculture, small and medium enterprises, renewable energy, social protection, governance, civil society, capacity building, skills supporting digital transformation and supporting the government’s priorities to implement the National Population Strategy.

Al-Mashat pointed to the most prominent successful projects in the field of digital transformation that were implemented with the European work team, which are: a project to support e-government and innovation in public administration with a grant worth €17.5 million from the German government. The project aims to support innovation in digital transformation and enhance E-government, in addition to establishing a laboratory for developing applications in the field of government services, and completing the implementation of the second phase of the technical support and digital transformation program for the Suez Canal Economic Zone. This is being implemented in light of the partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), with the aim of enhancing efforts to stimulate the sector. private sector, and accelerating the pace of procedures for investors in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.

In the context of the Egyptian government’s keenness to enhance digital transformation, Al-Mashat indicated that the Egyptian government will launch the Digital Egypt Platform during the year 2022, which is a platform that aims to facilitate citizens in completing their government services easily and smoothly. The platform also contains 138 digital government services, to be added and will be introduced gradually, including services in many government sectors, such as civil status, catering, documentation, real estate registration, judicial services, social insurance, agriculture, and other government services via the digital platform.

Al-Mashat explained that digitization and digital transformation solutions are no longer an option, but rather, huge investments in digital infrastructure are indispensable in order to facilitate countries’ transition towards the digital economy and enhance development efforts. This is in addition to the Egyptian government’s keenness to promote the expansion of digital services, developing safe infrastructure and enhancing this through legislative frameworks will ultimately stimulate efforts to empower the private sector and increase its role in achieving development and building a competitive and sustainable economy.

Within the framework of cooperation in the field of stimulating the private sector and enhancing the role of startup companies, the Ministry of International Cooperation, in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, launched the international competition “ClimaTech Run 2022” for startup companies working in the field of climate action and technology, in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Afreximbank, the World Food Programme, Google, the United Nations Population Fund, General Motors, and the Mansour Group. It was also in cooperation with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the Development Impact Accelerator Laboratories of the United Nations Development Programme, Microsoft, AfriLabs, and Falak startups.

The first and second editions of the international competition demonstrated the enormous potential of startups and their ability to confront climate change through innovative solutions and modern technologies. This supports the ability of different countries to achieve their climate ambitions, and the second edition of the competition builds on the efforts achieved during the year 2022 coinciding with Egypt’s presidency of COP27, where 422 startup companies from 66 countries participated in the first edition, most of whom were in the growth stages. The first-rate was 82%, and based on the intense competition in the competition, only 3.5% of them were able to reach the final stages.

Al-Mashat shed light on the Private Sector Engagement Platform: Hub for Advisory, Finance and Investment for Enterprises platform for financial and technical support for the private sector, which was launched by the Ministry of International Cooperation in December 2023, in implementation of the recommendations of the economic conference held in October 2022, to become the first integrated platform linking development partners and the private sector, containing various services provided by development partners at the level of financial or technical support, investments, concessional development financing, training programs and capacity building.

After the meeting, Al-Mashat invited the European Commissioner for Digital Transformation to visit Egypt and inspect emerging companies, as well as to discuss ways of cooperation regarding the private sector engagement platform.

For her part, the European Commissioner for Digital Transformation, Margrethe Vestager, stressed that digital transformation is one of the European Union’s cooperation priorities because of its importance in strengthening all fields.

Al-Mashat explained that in confirmation of these relations, international partnerships with the Team Europe initiative, through development financing, amounted to about $12.8 billion for the government and private sectors over 4 years, with $7.3 billion for the government sector and $5.5 billion for the private sector, which resulted in attracting investments from European companies in priority sectors, adding that these funds were directed to priority sectors throughout the country, led by sustainable infrastructure, renewable energy and electricity, food security, health and education, sustainable transport, water and sanitation networks, and small and medium enterprises, environment, solid waste management, women’s empowerment, and other programs.

To Read the Ministry of International Cooperation’s report on the partnership with Team Europe: