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  • Tuesday, 11 June 2024

H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, in her opening speech at the inaugural New Development Bank seminar in Egypt: Egypt is keen on diversifying its economic relations with development partners and various multilateral development banks.

• The current system of multilateral development banks has not met the aspirations of developing and emerging countries.

• Emerging countries have high hopes for the partnership with the New Development Bank to accelerate sustainable development and achieve just financing.

• There are significant opportunities for integration between Egypt, the New Development Bank, and Asian partners within the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative (GDI).

• The New Development Bank can play a significant role in supporting the South countries within the framework of multilateral development banks and international partners.

H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, delivered the opening speech during the inaugural session of the New Development Bank seminar in Egypt, held under the theme "Navigating New Horizons".

The seminar is held under the patronage of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and attended by Prime Minister Dr. Mostafa Madbouly.

The seminar was attended by H.E. Ms. Dilma Rousseff, President of the New Development Bank, Dr. Mohamed Maait, Minister of Finance, Lieutenant General Kamel Al-Wazir, Minister of Transport, Dr. Hala El-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Lieutenant General Mohamed Abbas Helmy, Minister of Civil Aviation, Dr. Mohamed Farid, Chairman of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA), Mr. Hossam Heiba, Chairman of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), and other representatives of international institutions, development partners, and national entities.

Minister Al-Mashat explained that the New Development Bank seminar, which the Ministry of International Cooperation is honored to organize with the bank, is the first seminar held outside the founding countries of the bank. 

She added that the seminar is a culmination of efforts that began over a year ago when Egypt participated in the New Development Bank Board of Governors meeting in Shanghai after officially joining in 2023, noting that the foundation for this seminar was laid at the Shanghai meeting.

The seminar is held under the patronage of H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Al-Mashat said, highlighting the President's support for strengthening economic relations with the New Development Bank and the BRICS group. 

She also extended her thanks to Prime Minister Dr. Mostafa Madbouly for his presence and continuous support for relations with development partners.

She emphasized that this seminar is taking place at a very significant time, following President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s recent visit to China, Egypt’s participation in the Korea-Africa summit, the annual meetings of Arab financial institutions held in Egypt, and the International Finance Corporation meetings hosted by Cairo. It also precedes the European Union (EU) investment conference at the end of the month, reflecting Egypt's foreign policy's diversity and economic relations with development partners.

Minister Al-Mashat pointed out that the exceptional economic and geopolitical conditions faced by developing and emerging economies, which suffer from successive global crises, as well as the inability of the current multilateral development banks system to meet these countries' aspirations, enhance the importance of this seminar in opening new horizons for effective development cooperation.

She noted that the New Development Bank seminar represents an opportunity to generate ideas that contribute to shaping the bank’s vision within the framework of multilateral development banks, such as expanding the use of national currencies, increasing the use of debt swap mechanisms to address climate change, and facilitating the private sector's access to concessional financing.

The Minister ensured that the seminar’s activities reflect the subjects of mutual interest and available cooperation opportunities between the public and private sectors. It aims to inform the Egyptian business community of the various and innovative financing tools and mechanisms offered by the bank to enhance development financing opportunities in Egypt.

Therefore, the seminar is characterized by a wide variety of sessions and topics for discussion, reflecting Egypt's regional and international standing and its role as a global trade passage and pivotal logistics hub. The partnership with the New Development Bank provides significant impetus to achieving these development strategies. The importance of the bank's role in encouraging South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation is also recognized. Furthermore, the seminar enjoys diverse participation from various stakeholders and speakers.

Additionally, two reports will be released during the seminar: the first, "Egypt and BRICS Countries – Promising Opportunities," prepared by the Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) of the Cabinet; and the second, "Towards Effective Economic South South and Triangular Cooperation," issued by the Ministry of International Cooperation, which highlights the steps and efforts made to enhance the exchange of expertise, knowledge, and experiences among the South countries.

Minister Al-Mashat expressed her keen interest in the New Development Bank chairing the meeting of multilateral development bank heads, which was held on the sidelines of the spring meetings in Washington in April 2023. She fully agreed with Ms. Dilma Rousseff’s opening remarks on the urgent need to develop the operations of multilateral development banks to meet development requirements and the importance of supporting the cooperation and coordination mechanisms among these banks to maximize efforts to face challenges. In this regard, the New Development Bank can play a significant role in amplifying the voice of the Global South to other international development partners.

She emphasized that emerging countries have high hopes for the partnership with the New Development Bank to accelerate sustainable development, especially with the increasing global interest in accelerating the shift towards low-emission development paths and the rising financing gap for required climate investments, estimated at around $4.5 trillion annually by 2030, and the urgent need for fair financing and technology.

Minister Al-Mashat highlighted that the "NWFE" national platform, launched as a presidential initiative during the COP27 climate conference, is a practical application of fair financing principles and an effective model for maximizing the benefits of development resources and concessional financing to address issues of adaptation, resilience, and mitigation against climate change, particularly in Africa. It also serves as a replicable model in other South countries, reflecting Egypt's commitment to strengthening the close relationship between development and climate action.

She added that Egypt's and many emerging economies' membership in the bank represents a positive development, not only for the bank's financial capabilities but also for supporting the expansion of the bank's operations in the South countries, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa.

“In light of Egypt’s strategic location and distinguished presence in this region, the state aims to play a pivotal role in integrating efforts between the bank and regional countries to achieve sustainable and inclusive development,” Minister Al-Mashat, said.

She added that this aligns with Egypt's commitment to ensuring that its chairmanship of New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) until 2025 is marked by enhanced inter-African cooperation, especially regarding the exchange of expertise across various levels and fields within the continent.

Minister Al-Mashat concluded her speech by emphasizing that the New Development Bank's priority development areas—clean energy, transport, water, infrastructure, health, education, and information technology—intersect and integrate with Egypt’s Vision 2030, and the Belt and Road Initiative and Global Development Initiative (GDI) launched by China. 

“I was honored to sign the memorandum of understanding for Egypt’s accession to the Global Development Initiative in July 2023, which provides an appropriate opportunity to discuss mechanisms for establishing and enhancing development partnerships between Egypt, the New Development Bank, China, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to implement several projects with concessional development financing, along with knowledge transfer,” the Minister stated.

She expressed her hope that the seminar will yield fruitful outcomes and pave the way for constructive partnerships in various fields between the bank and both public and private sectors, driving growth and investment rates. She extended her gratitude to Ms. Dilma Rousseff, President of the New Development Bank, for her warm welcome and support for holding this seminar, reflecting her belief in the opportunities for fruitful partnership and cooperation with the Arab Republic of Egypt.