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  • Wednesday, 06 March 2024

Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat Meets with IFC Regional Director on Efforts to Improve the Business Environment & Provide More Financial and Non-financial Services to the Private Sector

Minister of International Cooperation:

● We are working to develop international cooperation frameworks with the International Finance Corporation to provide more opportunities for the private sector.

● Creating a supportive environment for private sector-led investments through joint relations with IFC under the umbrella of the partnership framework with the World Bank Group.

Regional Industry Director of the International Finance Corporation:

● Structural reforms enhance the empowerment of the private sector and encourage foreign direct investment

● Our outlook is positive for the future of the Egyptian economy and the Ras Al-Hekma development project enhances efforts to bridge the financing gap.

● The International Finance Corporation values the expansion of Egyptian private sector companies in Africa to support regional development.

The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat held a meeting with Sarvesh Suri, Regional Industry Director for Infrastructure and Natural Resources in Africa for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), in the presence of IFC's Director for North Africa and Horn of Africa Sheikh Omar Sylla. This meeting is within the framework of following up on partnership projects with the IFC, which aims to empower the private sector, through concessional development financing and contributions, as well as technical support to various parties, in addition to the IFC’s  role as a consultant to the government in implementing the government proposal program.

During the meeting, the Minister welcomed the officials of the IFC, stressing the importance of the institution as the arm of the World Bank to finance the private sector, in implementing many programs that enhance the role of the private sector in the economy and support the competitiveness of the Egyptian economy, pointing out that the IFC is the largest international institution that focuses on supporting and empowering the private sector in emerging markets through the direct investments that it makes available, in addition to providing advice and technical support, as well as mobilizing additional investments from other parties and investors. H.E. added that the government is keen to develop international cooperation frameworks with the IFC  to enable more opportunities for the private sector.

The Minister discussed the position of the projects being implemented, including technical support for the sovereign fund in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), to enhance Egypt’s efforts in implementing water  desalination projects, as well as the advisory role of the IFC in implementing the government proposals program. H.E. emphasized continued coordination with the IFC in  light of the Country Partnership Framework (CPF) with the World Bank Group 2023-2027, which aims to achieve three main pillars: increasing and improving job creation, empowering the private sector-led investments and job opportunities; enhancing investment in human capital via inclusive, equitable and improved health and education services as well as effective social protection programs; and  improving the resilience of response to shocks by supporting macroeconomic management and climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

For their part, the IFC Regional Industry Director applauded the efforts made by the Ministry of International Cooperation to support the private sector and strengthen international partnerships in order to provide more opportunities and partnerships between development partners and private sector companies in Egypt, explaining the importance of the government proposal program that the state is working on, including many other structural reforms implemented by Egypt to encourage foreign direct investment and increase the private sector’s contribution to the economy.

He also stressed the importance of the role played by Egyptian private sector companies in Africa and expanding the scope of their projects, which reflects the vital role of the private sector and its importance in enhancing cooperation between different countries and enhancing development efforts in various sectors, especially renewable energy, noting the importance of the Ras Al-Hekma Development in cooperation with the UAE and its importance in providing proceeds to reduce the financing gap in the Egyptian economy.

He pointed out the IFC’s keenness to move forward with the implementation of ongoing projects within the framework of partnership with various parties, especially the agreement that was signed last year between the IFC, the EBRD, and the Egyptian Sovereign Fund, to support the partnership between the government and private sectors and provide technical support and consulting services for the development of 4 water desalination plants with a capacity of 335 thousand cubic meters, increasing to 650 thousand cubic meters in Marsa Matrouh Governorate and the North Coast. He also stressed that the measures taken by the state to confront economic challenges confirm the positive future outlook for the Egyptian economy.

The relationship with the IFC is based on 3 principles: employment, integration, and comprehensiveness. The IFC’s current investment portfolio in Egypt amounts to about $1.84 billion in the sectors of financial markets, agricultural business, health, education, manufacturing, and others, while the total cumulative investments that the IFC has provided or made available amounted to through investors and other entities is more than $7 billion.

In June 2023, the government signed an agreement with the IFC, under which the corporation will provide advisory services and technical support for the government proposal program, in light of Egypt’s commitment to this program as one of the tools for empowering the private sector and increasing its contribution to the Egyptian economy, based on the directives of the President of the Republic.