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  • Saturday, 18 May 2024

Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), delivers Egypt's speech at the General Session of the Board of Governors meeting

Minister of International Cooperation congratulates the Republic of Armenia on successfully hosting the 33rd Annual Meetings of the Bank

Al-Mashat: Egypt supports the efforts of the European Bank to increase the number of member countries and expand in the Sub-Saharan Africa region and emphasizes the importance of encouraging exchange of experiences between countries through South-South cooperation and trilateral cooperation

The necessity of integration between multilateral development banks to encourage more private sector investments in operational countries

Enhancing cooperation with the European Bank to increase green investments for the private sector through the "NWFE" platform and sharing the experience with other countries

Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), delivered a speech on behalf of the Arab Republic of Egypt at the General Session of the Board of Governors meeting during the thirty-third session of the bank's meetings held in Armenia. The meeting was attended by Ms. Odile Renaud-Basso, the bank's president, the Board of Governors, and representatives of international financial institutions.

The Minister of International Cooperation addressed several key topics on the bank's agenda at the current meetings, including the bank's new strategy and capital increase measures, as well as expanding membership by welcoming new countries such as Iraq, Benin, Nigeria, and Kenya. The bank aims to increase its operations in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as enhance trilateral cooperation and South-South cooperation. The importance of cooperation among multilateral development banks to encourage more private investments in operational countries was also emphasized.

At the beginning of her speech, the Minister of International Cooperation expressed the Arab Republic of Egypt's gratitude to the Republic of Armenia for hosting and organizing this year's annual meetings of the European Bank. She also congratulated Ms. Odile Renaud-Basso on her re-election, praising her leadership and dedication in implementing the bank's vision and role in supporting global development efforts.

The Relationship between Egypt and the European Bank

The Minister of International Cooperation reviewed the successful partnership between Egypt and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) since 2012, with the bank's investments in Egypt reaching over 12 billion euros distributed across 178 projects, 80% of which are directed towards the private sector. This has made Egypt one of the largest operation countries. In 2023 alone, the percentage of the bank's investments in the Egyptian private sector increased to 96%.

Al-Mashat emphasized the importance of the theme of this year's meetings, "Achieving Impact Together," as the world faces multiple interconnected development challenges. She pointed out that Egypt has succeeded in achieving integration and mobilizing international financial institutions and development partners to work together and achieve tangible results.

She also highlighted the National Platform for the "NWFE" program, which focuses on the link between water, food, and energy projects, as a leading example of collaboration between international financial institutions and integration. The platform focuses on integrating climate finance, private sector contributions, and innovative tools to achieve sustainable development and mitigate the effects of climate change. She mentioned working with the European Bank to transfer the program's experience to other countries, highlighting its importance in supporting climate action.

The Minister of International Cooperation addressed the efforts of the Egyptian government in enhancing the macroeconomic stability by implementing an economic and structural reform program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The program includes implementing key economic reforms such as transitioning to a flexible exchange rate system, focusing on strengthening public finances, and increasing social spending to achieve inclusive growth. She explained that the IMF program aims to achieve macroeconomic stability, which reduces uncertainty in economic activity, enhances the country's investment attractiveness, and drives future economic growth.

Dr. Rania also pointed to the joint work with various international financial institutions, including the World Bank, to obtain the necessary support for implementing structural reforms through the Development Policy Financing program, which aims to achieve three main objectives: enhancing macroeconomic stability, promoting the green transition, and improving the competitive business environment for the private sector. She emphasized the integration and alignment between national priorities and development partners’ priorities.

Dr. Al-Mashat expressed Egypt's support for the new donor strategy that was discussed during the annual donor meeting, stressing the importance of promoting grant funds and technical assistance and the many benefits of partnerships with donors.

Partnerships with the European Union

On another note, the Minister of International Cooperation pointed out the European Union as a key partner and contributor to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, welcoming the strategic partnership with the European Union and its importance, especially regarding the provision of investment guarantees worth 1.8 billion euros announced last March. Her Excellency stressed the need for innovative mechanisms for project financing, including the use of risk mitigation tools such as guarantees, to enhance private sector participation.

World Bank Guarantees Platform

In a related context, the minister mentioned the World Bank Group's commitment to increase guarantee issuances to $20 billion annually by 2030, enhancing the benefits for member countries. Dr. Al-Mashat noted that Egypt expects these steps to expand private sector participation opportunities and encourage more investments, emphasizing that integration among all development partners, especially in terms of risk reduction tools, is a driving force for economic growth and innovation, and facilitates project financing while providing more funding opportunities for the private sector.

Trilateral Cooperation

Regarding the EBRD's steps to expand into Sub-Saharan Africa and discussing the decisions to include Kenya and Nigeria, Dr. Al-Mashat affirmed Egypt's support for these steps and the need to establish institutional frameworks to launch South-South cooperation platforms and tripartite cooperation, bringing together multilateral development banks, countries, and relevant stakeholders, to become a real and effective tool in strengthening development cooperation and driving development efforts.