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  • Wednesday, 08 February 2023

Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat Welcomed a European Investment Bank Delegation led by the Bank's Director of the Neighboring Countries Department to Discuss Future Projects & Private Sector Financing Expansion

● The Minister discussed with the European Investment Bank (EIB) the details of participation in the implementation of transport, food security and water projects in the light of the NWFE program, a Nexus of Water, Food and Energy. 

● Discussions looked into expanding private sector financing mechanisms and programs into acting as incentives for green industries, food security and digital transformation.

● The EIB representatives said that they were keen on strengthening cooperation with the Government of Egypt in various areas and supporting the NWFE Program. 

The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat welcomed the delegation of the European Investment Bank (EIB) led by Lionel Rapaille, EIB Director of the Neighboring Countries Department, in the presence of Alfredo Abad, head of the EIB's Cairo office, the banks’ technical team, and the team of the Ministry of International Cooperation. 

During the meeting, priorities for development cooperation during the coming period were discussed in various areas of common interest, projects to be agreed upon during the current year, and the agenda of the mission and its meetings scheduled to be held with many concerned entities in Egypt to discuss priorities for cooperation during the coming period.

The Minister discussed the joint cooperation with the EIB in the implementation of the Country Platform for the Nexus for Water, Food and Energy (NWFE) program and expressed interest in contributing to projects on the transition to renewable energy, the adaptation of agricultural crops in the valley and delta region, the launch of early warning systems, along with desalination of water using solar energy, and other projects that enhance development efforts and stimulate climate action, pointing to the government's eagerness to move forward in cooperative efforts with multilateral and bilateral development partners to achieve its priorities in relation to Egypt's national strategies for climate change 2050 and 2030 agenda.

H.E. stressed the ongoing coordination with the EIB in this regard, as a technical mission from the Bank was sent to Egypt last August to discuss all aspects related to the projects of the NWFE program during the COP27 climate conference. The EIB was one of the institutions that signed letters of intent and memorandums of understanding related to mobilizing the different financing mechanisms and investments for the projects of the Programme in light of the Government of Egypt’s efforts to implement its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)  and create a regional model and approach to stimulate climate action.

Moreover, H.E. touched upon future cooperation projects in sustainable green industries, as well as food security, digital transformation and strengthening of agricultural supply chains, technical support in the transition to renewable energy, as well as green hydrogen.

Al-Mashat also discussed joint efforts with the EIB to stimulate the private sector as half of the cumulative development cooperation portfolio by the bank has been directed since 1979 to the private sector. H.E. noted  the importance of intensifying joint work in light of Egypt’s priorities and the joint strategy with the bank  to stimulate the financing mechanisms available to the private sector, especially climate finance and blended finance, especially as the EIB operates according to a plan aimed at increasing financing and commitments towards climate action to reach the level of 50% of investments by 2025.

She said that the Ministry of International Cooperation had already launched the “Sharm El-Sheikh Guidebook for Just Financing” during COP27 in collaboration with many relevant stakeholders, noting that the guide's pillars and recommendations can open up climate finance to the private sector and promote joint work between governments, the private sector and development partners in order to achieve climate countries' ambitions.

She added that relations with the EIB are evolving, especially under the presidency of the Multilateral Development Bank Group, thus stimulating joint efforts and cooperation with the Government of Egypt in order to stimulate climate action, technical support and support the 2030 agenda

For his part, Lionel Rapaille, EIB Director of the Neighboring Countries Department, said that this mission paid great attention to enhancing cooperation with the Egyptian side in various fields, applauding  the efforts made by the Ministry of International Cooperation in coordination with the different national entities to prepare for this mission, where the planned meetings with several relevant ministers are aimed at discussing ways of cooperation in financing priority projects for the Egyptian side.

During the year 2022, the Ministry of International Cooperation collaborated  with the EIB to finance several projects, including the second phase of the Fayoum water treatment plant project at a value of €46 million, the Helwan wastewater treatment plant at a value of €78 million euros, and a railway project between Tanta, Mansoura and Damietta. With a value of €221 million, and in light of stimulating the participation of the private sector through development cooperation. In 2022, the EIB provided development financing of €15 million to the Bank of Alexandria, and another financing of €500 million to the National Bank of Egypt, within the framework of providing soft development financing to the private sector and small and medium projects.

On the level of technical support and consultancy, the Ministry of International Cooperation, in cooperation with the EIB and other national authorities, coordinated a number of training workshops on mitigation, adaptation and resilience efforts as well as climate finance.

The ongoing development cooperation portfolio between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the EIB is worth about €3.49 billion to finance 20 projects, both private and public, in the areas of desalination, energy, infrastructure and other priority areas.