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  • Monday, 04 April 2022

Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat Meets Japanese Ambassador in Cairo to Discuss Enhancing Joint Cooperation Between Both Countries

  • H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat values the joint relations with Japan, and future cooperation opportunities in several areas including, health insurance and transportation. 
  • The Japanese ambassador affirmed his country’s commitment to enhancing economic relations to a strategic level, and to increase cooperation in the green transformation efforts. 

The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat met with Mr. Oka Hiroshi, the new Ambassador of Japan to Egypt, after presenting his credentials to H.E. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the President of Egypt a few days ago. The Ambassador’s meeting with Al-Mashat comes within the framework of the meetings held by the Minister of International Cooperation with multilateral and bilateral development partners to enhance and advance development efforts.  

At the beginning of the meeting, Al-Mashat welcomed the Ambassador in Cairo, wishing him success in his mission, which would include enhancing strategic relations between both countries, alongside an extension of the agreements and cooperation efforts that were established during the former Ambassador Mr. Masaki Noke’s presence.

Al-Mashat stressed the importance of the diversified development cooperation portfolio between Egypt and Japan, covering many sectors, and amounting to $2.7 billion. The Minister pointed out that Japan had supported Egypt to mitigate the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19 by contributing more than $250 million whether through the COVAX facility, development policy financing, or by  providing an emergency medical grant. 

The Minister shared that the next phase will witness more areas of cooperation within the framework of the Government of Egypt’s development priorities, especially benefitting from Japan’s pioneering experience in the comprehensive health insurance with cooperation with France and the World Bank Group. Al-Mashat also referred to the second phase of the construction of the 4th  Cairo Metro Line, adding that more Japanese investments in the local market, especially in priority sectors, will enhance the private sector participation in development.  

Al-Mashat also discussed Egypt's preparations to host the COP27, and efforts to enhance cooperation with development partners in supporting the green transformation, especially in projects with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) such as the Deirut Barrages that reduce water wastage, and  the  Hurghada Photovoltaic Power Plant Project.  

For his part, the Japanese Ambassador reviewed his government’s efforts to prepare for the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8) to be held on August 26-28, 2022, where Tunisia will host this session as an African country after Kenya, which hosted the conference in 2016. The conference is concerned with exchanging discussions and on promoting ways to advance economic development in Africa, especially in light of global challenges. H.E. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi participated in the 7th session in 2019 held in Japan, where Egypt also chaired the African Union (AU) during the same year. Since its establishment in 1993, the TICAD conference has been held every five years in Japan, and since 2013 it has been held every 3 years in African countries and Japan alternately.

Hiroshi also discussed the most prominent contributions made by Japan post-pandemic, including those bilaterally between the two governments, and through the cooperation between Egypt, Japan and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) amounting to $3.5 million  to expand the scope of COVID-19 vaccination in Egypt.

The Ambassador indicated that the Japanese government aims to increase its investments and cooperation in the hydrogen field and blue ammonia production through Toyota Tsusho, an energy field company working in Egypt; both of which are fields being discussed by the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy.

During the meeting, it was also agreed to expand the scope of annual economic talks with the Japanese side and national authorities on not only technical levels, but also  strategic levels, similar to what the Ministry of International Cooperation is doing with international development partners such as the World Bank Group, the European Bank for Development and Reconstruction (EBRD) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

It is worth noting that the cooperation between Egypt and Japan dates back to 1954, and the development cooperation portfolio is diversified in many sectors. The current portfolio of economic cooperation between the two countries amounts to about $2.8 billion, dedicated to 14 projects, including health, electricity, transport, navigation, education, higher education and irrigation.