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  • Monday, 20 March 2023

The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat Followed- Up With the WBG Mission on the Catalyzing Entrepreneurship for Job Creation Project Within 2023-2027 Country Strategy

● The project aims to support reforms to increase employment opportunities and develop SMEs and micro-enterprises and enhance training and technical support services.

The meeting with the World Bank Group Mission (WBG) on the Catalyzing Entrepreneurship for Job Creation Project Within 2023-2027 Country Strategy discussed future cooperation programmes to direct further support to start-ups and SMEs.

During the discussion, Al-Mashat met with the WBG Mission headed by Marina Wes, Regional Director of the World Bank for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti, Robert Bou Jaoude, Operations Manager, Middle East and North Africa, and with Dr. Mohamed A. Gawad, Head of Multilateral Cooperation Sector at the Ministry of International Cooperation, on the implementation of the multi-projects announced in the Country Strategy.

The aim of the meeting was to discuss the results achieved in the program’s implementation so far and to discuss the provision of a new grant in light of the strengthening of the project's third component aimed at increasing business efficiency.

The project aims to support reforms aimed at providing more opportunities for youth and women in Egypt through three components. This includes: increasing  the volume of credit available to small and medium enterprises and enhance their access to credit, in light of their vital role in providing job opportunities and promoting sustainable growth, and bridging this financing gap for projects and fostering an environment that enables the private sector to participate more in the SME sector, as well as increasing the seed, early-stage and venture capital available to innovative start-ups facing higher risks and SMEs with potential for growth and creation of employment opportunities; and developing businesses and capabilities, enhancing training and guidance services to develop MSMEs and enhancing technical assistance. This is being implemented in partnership with several national entities, including the MSMEDA.

During the meeting, Al-Mashat emphasized the close and extended relationship between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the WBG, within which close work is taking place between the bank and all national institutions and entities in order to stimulate joint efforts to support the country’s 2030 agenda. This is consistent with the SDGs, stressing the importance of the efforts made with international institutions in light of stimulating the private sector to support comprehensive and sustainable growth, as the Government of Egypt believes in the vital role of the private sector in enhancing economic competitiveness.

H.E. Al-Mashat also pointed out the importance of the programs implemented with multilateral and bilateral development partners to support startups and MSMEs in light of the government's commitment to providing the appropriate environment for innovation and startups to contribute in turn to stimulating the SDGs and opening the way for the participation of the private sector as well as the components within. These projects are ensuring equal opportunities across both gender and empowering women and girls.

During the meeting, they discussed what has been achieved on the ground so far with the financing directed in light of the program for the trade sectors by 72%, services by 15%, animal production by 7%, industry by 5%, and other sectors by 1%. Future cooperation programs between the government and the WBG were also discussed to direct more support to start-ups and SMes.

In another context, the Minister touched on the joint national strategy between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the World Bank Group 2023-2027, which has included consultations over the past period in partnership with the various relevant parties and the technical teams.This is in line with the Government of Egypt’s national objectives, encompassing the importance of the private sector in development, job creation, investing in human capital, and the green transition

The ongoing portfolio of development cooperation with the bank includes 14 projects distributed in several priority development sectors for the country, and also includes 23 projects for technical and advisory support and capacity building. For private sector participation, there is also ongoing cooperation with the International Finance Corporation.