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  • Wednesday, 25 May 2022

The Minister of International Cooperation Emphasizes the Need to Push for Innovation and Blended Finance at World Economic Forum Davos 2022 Annual Meeting

Continuing discussions for the second day at the World Economic Forum’s Davos 2022 Annual Meeting, the Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat held key important meetings with government officials, international financial institutions, and the private sector to discuss mechanisms that can mobilize innovative financing and move climate change pledges to real action on-ground in light of Egypt’s hosting of the COP27 United Nations Climate Change Conference. 

The Minister held a bilateral meeting with Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, United Nations Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, to deepen financial inclusion in Egypt and particularly in the rural areas. The Minister referred to the presidential initiative, Hayah Karima (Decent Life), which aims to improve the lives of more than 50 million Egyptians in rural Egypt by expanding access to financial products and bridge the banking gap. The Minister also referred to the Takaful and Karama project, implemented in partnership with the World Bank, which led to the inclusion of millions of citizens from the lowest income groups in the financial system in Egypt.

As global leaders have emphasized the need to push for innovation at Davos Agenda 2022, the Minister held important discussions with H.E.Salman Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Minister at the Ministry of Finance and National Economy, on uncovering ways to enhance development cooperation between the two countries to unlock opportunities in entrepreneurship and innovation.

Consultations for new projects are also under the radar with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as the Minister explored with Odile Renaud Basso, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the future timeframe for the implementation of the new country strategy in Egypt for 2022-2027, which was recently approved and prioritizes Egypt’s green transition in light of Egypt's hosting of COP27.

Opening new pathways for finance requires a smart mix of international and private capital, which is why innovative financing tools bridge the climate adaptation financing gap. During her meeting with Jay Collins, Vice Chairman of Banking, Capital Markets and Advisory (BCMA) at Citigroup, the Minister held discussions to enhance innovative financing tools and agree on mechanisms for promoting innovative financing that enhance the participation of the private sector in development.

Tapping on the potential of transforming Egypt into a regional energy hub, the Minister met with Judith Wiese, Chief Sustainability Officer of Siemens AG, to share Egypt’s bold strategy to promote more active participation of the private sector, in particularly renewable and clean energy, and to chart ahead cooperation in the run-up to COP27. 

For her part, Judith Wiese expressed appreciation for the Government of Egypt’s openness to cooperate with the private sector to support Egypt’s Climate Change Strategy for 2050. 

Embracing the fourth industrial revolution responsibly, the Minister held a meeting with Deemah Al-Yahya , Secretary General of Digital Cooperation Organization, where they emphasized the need for innovation and digitization to advance climate action, and explored opportunities in launching initiatives that focus on the digital economy and support youth, entrepreneurs and women.

On the same subject of finance, which has become a rising issue amid global contexts, the Minister of International Cooperation participated in a high-level dialogue at Indonesia’s Pavilion on “The Global Blended Finance Alliance for planetary Health and Digital Inclusion”, where she emphasized the need for utilizing blended finance for climate action. 

The Minister also met with Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation (ECF), where she reviewed the measures taken by Egypt to move towards a green economy through an open model of cooperation that prioritizes data and transparency to mobilize private capital. In the same vein, Tubiana highlighted the regional role of Egypt in pushing for a green transition, and stated that the ECF looks forward to enhancing cooperation with Egypt to support climate action.

Al-Mashat is participating in the 2022 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, under the title “History at a Turning Point: Government Policies & Business Strategies” until Thursday. Being physically held for the first time since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, this event witnesses the participation of over 2,500 leaders, decision-makers, and international institutions. The forum’s activities cover eight main themes: climate and nature, fairer economies, tech and innovation, jobs and skills, better business, health and healthcare, global cooperation, and society and equity.