Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat met with a French Treasury delegation to follow up on the status of current projects and harness new opportunities in joint Egyptian-French cooperation.
The collaboration aims to ensure thatdevelopment financing is provided for green recovery, transportation, housing, sanitation, and health.
The meeting took place in the presence of: French Ambassador to Egypt Stéphane Romatet; Gabriel Cumenge, France’s Deputy Assistant Secretary Ministry of Finance; Sébastien Raspiller, Head of the French Treasury’s Financial Sector Department; Michel Oldenburg, Head of the French Economic Mission in Cairo; and Fabio Grazi, Director of the French Development Agency (AFD) in Cairo.
During the meeting, Minister Al-Mashat underlined the value of cooperation between Egypt and France, and the mutual benefit it brings. She noted that it contributes to supporting Egypt’s green recovery, and complements national efforts to guarantee economic growth.
It also complements Egypt’s provision of universal social standards to itscitizens in line with the 17 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In December 2020, Egypt and France inked three financing agreements worth a total of €715.6m.
“Engaging with key partners in areas of shared interest can advance our goals in reaching the SDGs,” the minister said. She added the negotiations have taken place in the past few days, carried out with several authorities and ministries.
These took place during the French delegation’s visit to Egypt, in order to discuss the financing details of several bilateral projects.
These include cooperation with French university hospitals to provide technical evaluation and technical studies for Egypt’s Ministry of Health and Population. Aside from this, the projects include technical cooperation with the French Blood Foundation (EFS), to develop plasma donation centres.
Minister Al-Mashat added that the projects targeted for financing also include the supply of 32 cars for the Cairo Metro’s Line 1, in addition to 32 cars for Line 3.The rehabilitation of 32 trains that are used on the Cairo Metro are also set to take place subject to financing, along with the extension of the railway line between Cairo and Wadi Halfa.
Other projects seeking financing are Egypt’s railway line with Libya, along with financing for work on the Al-Arish-Taba line, and the Safaga port.
Minister of International Cooperation noted that the discussions also touched on supporting national projects that aim to develop villages in the Egyptian countryside. These projects focus particularly on developing water infrastructure, aerial supervision, and construction.
The meeting comes following the French delegation’s visit to a number of Egyptian ministries, which helped identify the next steps to finalise potential agreements. The delegation also sought to charter new and different routes to future cooperation.
Minister Al-Mashat also praised the AFD’s role in expressing keenness to finance markets in the governorates of the Delta and Alexandria, as well as the Regional Energy Control Center in Alexandria.
The AFD has shown additional keenness in supporting the development of Cairo’s Qasr Al-Eini Hospital, as well as exploring opportunities for cooperation in digital communications.
The French delegation affirmed the strength of Egyptian-French relations and the success of the visit by Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, whichtook place at the end of last year.
The delegation also noted that there are long-term plans to support the continuation of development projects in cooperation with several Egyptian ministries, including the Ministries of Transport, Health, Civil Aviation, and Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities.
The Ministry of International Cooperation focuses on strengthening economic diplomacy through three main principles: regularly organising multi-stakeholder platforms to ensure that all projects between development partners are streamlined and effectively coordinated; mapping ODA financing to SDGs for all projects with bilateral and multilateral development partners; and adopting a consistent Global Partnerships Narrative People & Projects & Purpose (P&P&P).
The history of cooperation between both countries dates back to 1974, with an economic cooperation portfolio worth €7.5bn, along with more than 42 signed protocols.
These protocols cover transportation, electricity, civil aviation, housing and utilities, health, agriculture and irrigation, micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), environment, antiquities, and Education, according to the ministry. The current cooperation portfolio between Egypt and France amounts to €1bn.