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  • Wednesday, 17 April 2024

With the participation of officials from multilateral development banks, members of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) and the private sector: Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation addressed the Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF) Advisory Council at the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank

● Minister of International Cooperation: Sustainable infrastructure is the primary factor for achieving economic and social progress

● A huge gap between infrastructure needs and expected spending by 2030, estimated at $15 trillion

● Egypt has begun to achieve transformation in sustainable infrastructure projects in cooperation with international financing institutions and the Global Infrastructure Facility

● Al-Mashat reviews areas of cooperation with the Global Infrastructure Facility to encourage private sector investments in infrastructure projects in Egypt

● Benefit from the advisory expertise and technical support of the Global Infrastructure Facility in implementing water desalination plants and dry ports and supporting the country’s efforts in the field of green hydrogen.

H.E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, participated in the meeting of the Advisory Council of the Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF), which was held within the activities of the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank held in Washington, DC, this week. This is one of the initiatives of the G20, and is a global platform to enhance efforts aimed at mobilizing private investments in sustainable infrastructure projects in developing countries and emerging markets, through joint work between relevant parties, whether international financial institutions, governments, investors, and multilateral development banks. The Advisory Council of the Global Infrastructure Facility includes more than 60 organizations that manage assets of about $18 trillion.

The event was kickstarted by Ms. Astrid Mannroth, President of the GIF. Alongside Al-Mashat, there were several participants including: Guangzhe Chen, Co-Chair of the Advisory Board of the GIF;  Alexia Latortue, Assistant Secretary for International Trade and Development at the US Treasury; Matthew Jordan Tank, Director of Sustainable Infrastructure Policy at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD); Christian Deseglise, Head of the Sustainable Infrastructure and Innovation Group at HSBC; and other representatives of international institutions, multilateral development banks and the private sector.

In her speech, the Minister said that sustainable infrastructure is the primary factor for achieving economic and social progress in various countries of the world. Despite this, there is a huge gap between the actual global infrastructure needs and the expected spending by 2030, estimated at about $15 trillion, which imposes a major challenge, especially for emerging markets and developing economies, which need huge investments to meet their requirements.

The Minister confirmed that there are major obstacles preventing countries from participating in the private sector in infrastructure projects, related to the risks associated with implementing these projects, and the ability of governments to structure bankable projects and mitigate the size of the risks of participation in those projects.

Al-Mashat added that several years ago, the  government began to transform the infrastructure landscape in the country, by embarking on the implementation of huge projects in various fields, especially renewable energy, structure and infrastructure projects, and desalination and water treatment plants.

The Minister referred to the government efforts made to implement the National Strategy for Climate Change 2050, and the Ministry of International Cooperation’s launch of the country platform for the “NWFE” program, the nexus of water, food and energy projects, which includes 9 priority projects in the areas of mitigation and adaptation to climate change, pointing out that In the current period, cooperation with development partners is being strengthened to prepare the technical studies necessary to implement the projects.

H.E. noted that the “NWFE” program is a country platform based on country ownership, and represents an effective regional model and soft financing approach to deal with issues of adaptation, mitigation and resilience. It works to achieve clear goals within the National Climate Change Strategy 2050 and Nationally Determined Contributions, and its projects cover the three main pillars of climate action: Mitigation, adaptation and resilience with a focus on a just transition to a green economy.

The NWFE program was designed based on the relationship between energy, water and food security, as there is a close connection between the three sectors through common policies as well as the environmental systems on which natural resources and human activities ultimately depend.

The Minister reviewed the cooperation between the government and the GIF Infrastructure Facility, under the umbrella of joint work with the World Bank Group, in 5 priority projects, where the GIF provided advisory services to develop the green hydrogen program in Egypt in a way that enhances foreign direct investments in this field and supports the opening of markets. The facility also strengthened efforts to attract private sector investments in water desalination programs and support the private sector’s participation in these types of projects, in addition to providing advisory services to strengthen the partnership between the government and private sectors (PPP), especially in dry ports projects and logistics centers. It also contributed to providing technical support and consulting services to stimulate investment in priority infrastructure projects and stimulate the investment environment.

In her speech, the Minister stressed that ensuring the achievement of the ambitions of developing countries through infrastructure projects comes from the projects’ ability to be financed and supported by the private sector. The partnership between the government and private sectors is a pivotal factor for success in financing these projects, as this partnership enhances innovative solutions and unlocks financing that promotes sustainable infrastructure implementation.