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  • Sunday, 31 January 2021

Bilateral Cooperation Between Egypt & Belgium Mapped Out

H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minster of International Cooperation, met with H.E. the ambassador of Belgium François Cornet D’Elzius, along with Haguer Magdi the head of Commercial Negotiations in the Belgian embassy

to discuss the future plans of the bilateral cooperation between the countries, in alignment with the 2030 development goals.

The history of cooperation between the two countries dates back in time and has been tangible in many sectors; especially the cultural development plan concerning the construction of the Grand Egyptian Museum, and the restoration of the Baron Palace, among many other projects.

The principles of Economic Diplomacy are the core of all multilateral and bilateral cooperation partnerships, Al-Mashat emphasized during the meeting; explaining that the principles consist of the organization of Multi-stakeholder platforms that bring together the development partners and the governmental institutions in order to align objectives, the mapping of the ODA per the UN SDGs ensuring that the development financing is best allocated and utilized in various projects, and the Global Partnerships Narrative that ensures transparency across all communications and with all stakeholders. Al-Mashat added that the ministry has been working on various agreements with the European Union regarding the projects listed for development financing in the coming year. D’Elzius expressed his admiration of the 2020 annual report, launched by the ministry of International Cooperation, titled “International Partnerships for Sustainable Development: Writing the Future in a Changing Global Dynamic,” that paves the way for a transparent development communication; adding that Belgium is eager to further cooperate with Egypt on the development of the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, and on the establishment of a strong public-private dialogue in the Egyptian Business Sphere. The bilateral cooperation portfolio currently encompasses the health sector; ongoing talks with the Ministry of Health study the need for Belgian support in the sector. Moreover, the ambassador of Belgium expressed the interest in developing cooperation platforms between the Belgian and Egyptian companies working in similar fields, to deepen the development partnership between both countries. Al-Mashat followed the offer by ensuring the organization of a Multi-Stakeholder Platform where these companies are brought in together for projects’ negotiations. Egypt and Belgium have cooperated on the restoration project of the Baron Palace within the Debt-Swap program between both countries for an agreement worth EUR 2.14 million which is equivalent to LE 16 million, by signing a Memorandum of Understanding on September 11th, 2019. According to the annual report by the Ministry of International Cooperation in 2020, the ministry secured development financing agreements worth $9.8 billion during the year; $6.7 billion for financing sovereign projects, and $3.1 billion in support of the private sector.