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  • Thursday, 08 February 2024

The Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Meets with the Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator to the Head of the United States Agency for International Development in Washington and the Director of the Middle East Office to Discuss Advancing Joint relations and Coordinating Efforts to Increase Support Provided to the Private Sector in Egypt

The Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, met with Mr. Andrew Plitt, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development in Washington and Director of the Middle East Office (USAID), and the agency’s delegation in Egypt, as part of the periodic meetings H.E. holds with the multilateral and bilateral development partners to follow up on coordination efforts regarding development cooperation relations between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the United States of America.

Al-Mashat discussed with USAID officials the increasing efforts to support the private sector in Egypt through the services and financing provided by the USAID, along with other American institutions, led by the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and making these services available through the Private Sector Engagement Portal: Hub for Advisory, Finance & Investment for Enterprises.

Al-Mashat stressed the government’s great interest in increasing the private sector’s participation in development, enhancing partnership opportunities between the government and private sectors, creating the necessary environment for this, and enabling the private sector to fully benefit from the services provided by multilateral and bilateral development partners, both at the level of soft development financing or contributions and investments, as well as technical support and consulting services.

Al-Mashat indicated that the Private Sector Engagement Portal: Hub for Advisory, Finance & Investment for Enterprises is considered an integrated platform that connects development partners, international institutions, the government, and the local business community, with the aim of enhancing communication and linking between various private sector companies, whether large companies, or small and medium companies or emerging companies, pointing to the continuous coordination between the Ministry and development partners to continuously make tenders, initiatives and services available on the platform to enhance private sector companies’ benefit from them.

The launch of the platform at the end of last year coincided with the launch of the Ministry’s annual report under the title “Platforms for Policy and Practice ” which included a detailed presentation of the most important international partnerships between development partners and the government, as well as the private sector. The report also revealed that the total development financing and investments made for the private sector was $10.3 billion from development partners from 2020 to 2023.

Moreover, Al-Mashat discussed, with USAID officials the results of COP28 in the United Arab Emirates, and Egyptian-American cooperation in the field of enhancing climate action, especially through the implementation of the joint political declaration issued at COP27, according to which American support efforts for green transformation in Egypt through the implementation of the NWFE program, the pillars of the nexus of water, food, and energy projects is to be implemented.

H.E. also pointed out the importance of cooperation with the US side to implement the NWFE program projects, especially the energy pillar, and the necessity of continuing coordination with various development partners and enhancing technical discussions between various parties to enhance integration and joint efforts to implement the targeted projects, in a way that supports Egypt in achieving a just energy transition through renewable energy, implement Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and increase the proportion of renewable energy to 42% by 2030.

Al-Mashat added that Egyptian-US relations are witnessing development at the economic level in response to Egypt’s development priorities. In September 2023, 8 amendments to bilateral agreements were signed, according to which the United States of America provided grants worth $130 million in the sectors of basic education, higher education, and health, water, trade, investment, governance, agriculture, and climate, noting that the government values the strategic partnership with the United States of America, which extends for more than 4 decades.

For his part, Mr. Andrew Plitt emphasized the United States’ appreciation for the partnership with the Arab Republic of Egypt at all levels, and its keenness to develop that relationship in a way that achieves common interests.

It is worth noting that the ongoing development cooperation portfolio with the USAID since 2014 amounts to about $1 billion, through which many projects are implemented in the fields of basic education, higher education, health, governance, small and medium enterprises, private sector support, tourism, and agriculture, and climate change.