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  • Wednesday, 03 May 2023

During the World Economic Forum’s "Growth Summit 2023" in Switzerland: H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat Highlights Importance of International Cooperation to Create Flow of Sustainable Financing for Developing Countries to Enhance Development Process in Accordance with National Priorities

The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat participated in many discussion sessions and events during the "Growth Summit 2023", which was held at the headquarters of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland, in which economic leaders across the world from business organizations, civil society, the private sector and governments meet to discuss the formation of a sustainable and just future, discussing many topics, including employment, climate action challenges, artificial intelligence, innovation, and creating a workforce ready for future challenges.

The COVID-19  Pandemic Unveiled  Major Challenges to the Global Economic System

During her speech in a panel discussion on “Global Economic Outlook, What Next for Globalization?”, which discussed the decline in globalization policies in recent years due to the internal developments of each country, geoeconomic transfers, and concerns about the flexibility of supply chains following the COVID-19 pandemic, along with Professor Richard Baldwin, Professor of International Economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Switzerland, Jürgen Karl Zattler, Director-General at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, and Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, Director- General at International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva.

Al-Mashat said that the pandemic revealed the fragility of the current global social and economic systems and their ability to adapt to crises and risks, which calls for enhancing adaptability.  As a result of the pandemic, the ongoing war in Europe came to add more risks to the economies of these countries due to its high cost of financing, declining growth rates, increased interest rates, and increased volatility in financial markets.

The exchange of expertise and experiences between the countries of the South and just financing are necessary factors to meet the challenges of development.

Al-Mashat stated that there are common challenges between the countries of the North and the South, and when looking at sustainable development, we find that there is a challenge facing its implementation and a gap in the finance available for these goals, in addition to need for climate action, which requires more finance and the ability to build flexibility and share experiences among the countries of the South to promote and disseminate inspiring development experiences in accordance with the priorities of each country separately.

H.E. called for the mobilization of efforts to enable countries to implement their development programs and national strategies, noting that the continent of Africa and emerging countries in general have a high percentage of young people, which requires stimulating the private sector to create new jobs, provide job opportunities, and promote comprehensive and sustainable growth. H.E. spoke about COP27 and the goals it discussed to promote mitigation and adaptation to climate change and mobilize finance to advance progress towards development.

You can watch the full recorded session here.

25% of venture capital funding is for climate action technology solutions, and Africa lacks just financing opportunities.

Al-Mashat participated in a panel discussion on “Growth Hotspots: The Climate Technology Boom”, along with Richard Powell, Executive Director of the ClearPath Foundation and ClearPath Action, Pranjal Sharma, Contributing Editor at Businessworld, Naoko Ishii, Director, Center for Global Commons at the University of Tokyo,  Mourad Tamoud, Executive Vice-President of Global Supply Chain Operations at Schneider Electric Hong Kong, and Eirik Waerness, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist at Equinor, where the session discussed the high level of financing climate technology projects and innovation, the role of climate technology in influencing various sectors and institutions, and its role in enhancing growth opportunities and facing challenges.

H.E. said that, in light of Egypt's presidency of COP27, all global efforts exerted to push mitigation and adaptation efforts are at the heart of technology and innovation, which is a common denominator in promoting these efforts, whether at the level of expanding renewable energy, water desalination or smart and sustainable agriculture, which supports and accelerates sustainable development.

The Minister indicated that many efforts had been made to obtain international pledges to support climate action, so the climate conference in Egypt was a global call to implement pledges, through joint efforts between governments, the private sector, international institutions and all relevant parties, noting that development grants are very important to promote innovation-based climate solutions.

H.E. added that: Egypt is working diligently to advance scientific research efforts, encourage risk capital, especially in climate action technology, and stimulate the private sector. Worldwide, approximately 25% of venture capital funding goes to climate action technology and innovative tools, but its distribution between developing and developed countries is not just, so there is a lot of work we need to do to boost climate investments in emerging and developing countries.

Moreover, the Minister  stated that Africa produces less than 3% of global emissions, but it is the most affected by the repercussions of climate change, and in light of the ongoing discussions to structure multilateral development banks, maintaining the flow of sustainable financing to emerging countries is of great importance to ensure just financing and promote development and climate action.

Al-Mashat spoke about the global initiatives put forward in this regard, including the initiative of the G7 countries to support countries that generate energy with coal, and what Egypt has done in launching the national platform for green projects, which is a model for mobilizing climate finance and various financing mechanisms to support climate action efforts.

You can watch the full recorded session here.

Gender Equality is Still Facing Challenges Despite Efforts over Past Decade

In another context, the Minister participated in a discussion session on "Gender Parity: 50-50 by 2050?", in which H.E. referred to the continuing challenges facing gender equality progress and its impact on development efforts in different countries, pointing out that the Global Gender Gap Report 2022 says that 132 years are still needed to achieve equal opportunities, despite efforts made over the past decade, which were not sufficient to achieve strong progress in this matter.

Moreover, H.E. stressed the need to provide enabling environments to unlock the capabilities and potential of women, achieve a shift in the quality of employment based on skills rather than gender, and reduce inequalities in a way that supports economic growth and enhances the resilience of societies and their ability to withstand shocks, pointing out that governments are required to increase investments in digital transformations and training programs that enhance skills, while also providing generations of cadres capable of keeping pace with global changes.

The Minister of International Cooperation Reviews Efforts to Empower women Through the Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator

During the WEF’s activities, Al-Mashat participated in a discussion on “Accelerators Network: Advancing the New Economy and Society”, which brought together many representatives of the government and private sectors to exchange experiences on gender parity, and the promotion of skills and job opportunities. At the discussion, the Minister spoke about the country's efforts to socioeconomically empower and increase the percentage of representation at the political level in the government and parliament. H.E. also referred to the efforts made between the Ministry of International Cooperation, the WEF and the National Council for Women (NCW) through the “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator”, which aims to enhance the involvement of the private sector through 100 companies to provide women access to economic opportunities, reduce the wage gap, and improve skills to enable them to obtain job opportunities in the post-pandemic era.

High-level WEF Meeting  on “Driving Growth Amid Divide”

The Minister also participated in a high-level meeting on “Driving Growth Amid Divide”, moderated by the WEF President Borge Brende, to discuss how to mobilize efforts to achieve growth, enhance investment in human capital, and enhance macroeconomic stability amidst current challenges.

The session discussed the role of multilateral cooperation in facing global challenges, climate change and efforts to reduce poverty rates, and the need to promote the global agenda and joint action between the relevant stakeholders to accelerate the pace of sustainable development.