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  • Tuesday, 16 April 2024

During the World Bank & IMF Spring Meetings H.E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation Holds Meetings with World Bank Group Directors

● Al-Mashat discusses with World Bank officials the international and regional challenges and their impact on emerging markets

● The Minister of International Cooperation stresses the importance of developing the World Bank’s business model to maximize its role in addressing poverty, promoting shared prosperity, and expanding the scope of development financing

● Al-Mashat: Beginning to benefit from financing worth $500 million from the World Bank to support social protection efforts and enhance investment in human capital through the “Takaful and Karama” program.

● Close cooperation with the World Bank to enhance technical support in the management of state-owned companies, implement the state ownership policy document, encourage foreign direct investment, and localize industry.

● Discussing international best practices in the field of encouraging foreign direct investment to support the state’s vision in this context and enhancing women’s empowerment efforts.

The Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the World Bank Group H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, held bilateral meetings with  Abdulaziz Al-Mulla, Executive Director of the World Bank Group; Indermit Gill, Chief Economist of the World Bank Group and Senior Vice President for Development Economics; and Ousmane Dione, Vice President of the World Bank Group for the Middle East and North Africa, in the presence of Ambassador Hisham Seif El-Din, Alternate Executive Director for Egypt at the World Bank, within the activities of the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, held in Washington, D.C., from April 15 to 20. 

Roadmap for Developing the Role of the World Bank

During the meeting, the Minister discussed regional and international challenges and their impact on developing countries and emerging economies. H.E. also discussed the ongoing efforts to develop the World Bank Group’s business model, stressing the importance of these efforts in expanding the scope of development financing in light of the enormous needs for financing to meet the goals of the World Bank Group, including sustainable development, as well as maximizing the World Bank’s role in confronting poverty, promoting shared prosperity, and increasing resilience to shocks.

Development Policy Financing Programme

The meetings also touched on the development policy financing program, which aims to support the implementation of structural reforms through three pillars. The first is to enhance economic competitiveness and improve the business environment, the second pillar works to enhance macroeconomic resilience, and the third pillar is to stimulate the transition to a green economy. Moreover, the development policy financing aims to implement the state ownership policy document and reforms that enhance equal opportunities for private sector growth, under the umbrella of the Country Partnership Framework between Egypt and the World Bank Group 2023-2027.

Encouraging Foreign Direct Investment and Empowering the Private Sector

They discussed cooperation with the World Bank in various fields, especially its provision of technical support to the government in preparing many diagnostic reports and studies, especially the study on foreign direct investment in Egypt, as well as the national strategy for industrial development and trade promotion. This is especially in light of the importance of the two studies for the state to attract more direct foreign investments and the localization of industry in various sectors, and their importance in strengthening the steps taken with all partners to achieve Egypt’s goals and priorities.

This is in addition to examining the ongoing efforts within the framework of strengthening the role of the private sector and creating a supportive and attractive economic environment for investments, through the World Bank providing technical support to the Information and Decision Support Center of the Council of Ministers to implement the state ownership policy document that was launched in 2022, and the management of state-owned companies. This also includes the role of the World Bank in supporting economic and structural reforms, which encourages foreign direct investments, and discussing successful experiences of similar countries to benefit, despite regional and international challenges.

Investing in Human Capital

The Minister stressed the vital role of the World Bank Group in supporting social protection efforts in Egypt through the first and second phases of the Takaful and Karama program with a value of $900 million in the form of soft development financing. This is in light of the state’s keenness to support the lowest-income groups and enhance protection efforts. 

During the past year, the World Bank agreed to make available a new tranche to support the program worth $500 million, and it has already entered into force following the completion of the necessary procedures last December. This tranche is scheduled to enhance investment in human capital as it is an integral part of social development efforts, supporting vulnerable communities. 

In this regard, the universal health insurance project is one of the vital projects in which the World Bank cooperates with Egypt, as part of the country’s efforts to enhance health care services.

Climate Action and Women's Empowerment

The meetings with World Bank leaders witnessed a discussion of the ongoing cooperation in climate action, where the Minister reviewed Egypt’s pioneering role in implementing national platforms through issuing the “NWFE” program to support the implementation of the National Climate Change Strategy, and issuing the Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR) in cooperation with the World Bank. 

The Minister also discussed enhancing joint cooperation in empowering women and increasing their role in development, in addition to ongoing cooperation in the field of transportation, where the two sides discussed the necessity of involving the private sector in implementing transportation sector projects.

The Minister stressed the role played by the Ministry to enhance the effectiveness of development cooperation through periodic follow-up every 3 months of the ongoing cooperation portfolio with various development partners.

The technical support provided to the Ministry of Finance was also discussed in a number of areas, including supporting financial management and enhancing accounting with the aim of improving the services provided, as well as providing technical support to the Ministry in debt and risk management.

It is worth noting that the Ministry of International Cooperation announced, last March, the financing package scheduled to be made available by the World Bank Group to Egypt over a period of three years at a value of $6 billion, with $3 billion to support the economic reform program implemented by the government, and $3 billion to empower the private sector. The financing package provided by the World Bank Group focuses on increasing opportunities for the private sector’s participation in the economy, and enhancing its role in development efforts, through several pillars, including implementing the government proposal program, strengthening the governance of state-owned companies, and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of public resource management.

The World Bank Group’s ongoing development cooperation portfolio in Egypt amounts to more than $8 billion, including $6 billion from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, $1.9 billion from the International Finance Corporation, and $500 million in guarantees to the private sector from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.