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  • Tuesday, 02 May 2023

The Ministry of International Cooperation Issues Report on the Development Cooperation Relations between Egypt & Japan.

● Egyptian-Japanese relations have witnessed massive developments since H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi's visit to Tokyo in 2015

● A high-level policy dialogue between the two countries will be held next June to discuss future cooperation projects and activate memorandums of understanding

● Japan is one of Egypt's most prominent development partners, and more than 18 projects are being implemented with funds exceeding $3.9 billion

● The report reviews ongoing development cooperation projects in priority areas and human capital development

The Ministry of International Cooperation issued a report on the development of Egyptian-Japanese relations at the level of development cooperation efforts, against the background of the continuous progress in relations between the two countries and the visit of the Japanese Prime Minister to Egypt, and his meeting with H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of The Arab Republic of Egypt, where it was agreed to enhance our strategic relations and partnership.

The Ministry of International Cooperation said that the Egyptian-Japanese relations began full-force in 1983, when the first meeting of the joint committee was held in Cairo, which resulted in a boom in cooperation relations between the two countries at the economic and political level, where also a technical cooperation agreement was signed to implement general and specialized training programs, workshops and grants. Many Japanese grant and loan projects have been implemented in several development sectors, on top of which are health, agriculture, small and medium industries, renewable energy, electricity and infrastructure.

The Ministry of International Cooperation stated that relations witnessed a quantum leap during the era of H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, when then-Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, visited Egypt in 2015, followed by the visit of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to Tokyo in 2016, based on which advanced steps were taken to start a new stage of bilateral relations and the launch of several joint cooperation initiatives in the fields of education, health, electricity and infrastructure.

The Japanese government and support the development plans in Egypt

The report indicated that Japan is one of Egypt's most important Asian development partners, as the development cooperation portfolio includes more than 18 development projects in support of the government's plan to achieve the SDGs, with a value of about $3.9 billion, since 2010 until now, in addition to many grants in development in the fields of health, education, energy, electricity, transportation, civil aviation, tourism and antiquities, irrigation, and education, in a way that supports sustainable economic growth, social inclusion, education development, human resource development, regional cooperation and support for the national strategy to combat climate change.

Annual Policy Dialogue with Japan

The report stated that within the framework of the coordination role of the Ministry of International Cooperation to discuss ways to strengthen the Egyptian-Japanese partnership through efforts of economic diplomacy, an annual high-level policy dialogue is held between the Egyptian and Japanese sides to discuss proposals for future cooperation and technical cooperation, in line with development pillars and Egypt's vision 2030, and in light of the role played by the Ministry of International Cooperation to coordinate between government agencies and multilateral and bilateral development partners.

The policy dialogue is witnessing a process of exchanging visions and views on future cooperation in accordance with development priorities, as well as discussing ongoing projects and overcoming any obstacles that prevent their implementation, which will reflect on the efforts of the two countries to achieve the SDGs. The annual policy dialogue is scheduled to be held for the year 2023 in June, which represents an impetus to push forward joint relations after the important visit of the Japanese Prime Minister.

Ongoing projects positions

Electricity budget support sector: Financing the development of policies to support the electricity sector and budget support in cooperation with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which aims to finance the budget support program to develop the policies of the reform program for the electricity sector implemented in cooperation with the French Development Agency and the African Development Bank, in addition to enhancing financial sustainability management and operational efficiency of the energy sector, supporting the use of clean energy to promote the "Green Transition" strategy.

Comprehensive health insurance: Financing development policies to support the universal health coverage program, enhancing the government's efforts to achieve universal health insurance by supporting financial protection and providing high-quality services to low-income people, and supporting economic stability and development efforts in Egypt.

Transportation and infrastructure sector: Financing the project of the first phase of Line 4 of the Greater Cairo Metro, where the importance of the project comes in providing a means of transportation that serves 2 million citizens daily in a number of areas with high-population density, by linking the 6th of October city and the archaeological area with the pyramid using the metro network, which is in line with the government's plan to reduce emissions and provide environmentally friendly transportation.

Development of Burj Al-Arab Airport: Financing the modernization project of Burj Al-Arab International Airport, with the aim of enhancing services provided to passengers on low-cost flights through the construction of a new passenger terminal at the airport with an annual capacity of 4 million passengers.

Antiquities and Tourism Sector: The Grand Egyptian Museum construction project (first and second phase): One of the most important projects funded by the Japanese side due to its importance in supporting the tourism sector in Egypt through a global tourist destination.

Financing a project to raise the efficiency of energy use: For three electricity distribution companies (North Cairo, Alexandria, and North Delta): The project contributes to improving energy use within the electricity distribution sector by reducing losses during the distribution and sale of electricity to the consumer, and the purchase of electric energy from public and private energy production companies (with low and medium power), maintenance and operation management of low and medium power generators.

Education and Human Resources Development Sector: Human resource development project in the field of education and health (EC2), with the aim of dispatching 1,505 students and researchers over 5 years to train and obtain master's and doctoral degrees in various scientific fields.

The "Egyptian-Japanese Education Partnership" program: Aims to inaugurate 100 Egyptian-Japanese schools that implement the Japanese Tokkatsu education system, and within the framework of the project, 51 Egyptian-Japanese schools have been opened so far, 30 new schools have been selected in the governorates of a decent life to start applying the system to improve educational services, services and facilities in those Schools and teacher training, in line with the objectives of the "Haya Karima" initiative.

A grant for the construction of outpatient clinics for the Children's Specialized Hospital - Abu El-Rish: A grant for a project to supply medical equipment and services for the benefit of the Ministry of Health, as well as a grant for the supply of research equipment for the Egyptian-Japanese University. In addition to a grant of $9.3 million to supply medical equipment and services for the Ministry of Health to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.

Supplying research equipment for the Egyptian-Japanese University (E-JUST) First phase: The project aims to enhance education and scientific research at the university, as the necessary educational and research equipment will be provided for engineering education at the undergraduate level for eight departments at the university.

The most important projects implemented by the private sector in cooperation with the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to support the electricity sector:

An agreement was signed to implement a project to establish a wind farm with a capacity of 500 MW in the Gulf of Zayt region, through cooperation with Sumitomo Company, with the remaining amount of $281 million. Last March, JBIC  signed an agreement with the Red Sea Wind Energy Company worth  $240 million to implement a project to establish a wind energy farm in Ras Ghareb in the Red Sea with a capacity of 500 megawatts, to be implemented through Toyota Tsusho Corporation and Egyptian Electricity Holding Company.

The project will be co-financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Norinchukin Bank, and Societe Generale SA.

In November 2022, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a loan agreement with the Abydos Solar Energy Company to finance the Kom Ombo solar energy project in the Arab Republic of Egypt. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will jointly finance the project. This project aims to increase electricity supply from renewable energy sources by building and operating a 500 MW solar power plant in Kom Ombo, Aswan Governorate, southern Egypt, thus contributing to climate change mitigation by reducing CO2 emissions in Egypt.

Projects through international financing institutions (The United Nations):

The "Enhancing Food Security by Improving Agricultural Productivity for Small Farmers" project at a value of $3,750 million in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization "FAO" to implement the project for the benefit of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation.

The "Supporting Circular Economy Practices in the Value Chain in Single-use Plastic Production" project with a grant of $3.5 million through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) for the Environmental Affairs Agency.

The project of small photovoltaic systems connected to the electric grid of the Arab Republic of Egypt at a value of $3.5 million in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for the benefit of the New and Renewable Energy Authority - Ministry of Electricity.

The "Expanding Access to the COVID-19 Vaccine in Egypt" project, worth $3.4 million, in cooperation with UNICEF, to establish effective cold chain systems for storing and preserving vaccines for the Ministry of Health.