The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has pumped development funds of $421m into Egypt’s private sector during 2020, according to Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat.
The minister also said that the IFC’s total investments in Egypt during the last decade amounted to about $4bn.
The financing has gone towards supporting the efforts undertaken by the private sector in various development projects. She pointed out that Egypt was able to withstand the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and achieve positive growth thanks to the progress of development projects through partnership between the public and private sectors.
Minister Al-Mashat’s comments came during her videoconference meeting with Makhtar Diop, Executive Vice President of the IFC, which took place to discuss areas of bilateral cooperation.
During the virtual meeting, the two sides also discussed ongoing partnerships, future projects, and ways to enhance the IFC’s role in supporting Egypt’s private sector.
The videoconference was attended by: Mirza Hassan, Dean of the Board of Executive Directors and CEO of the World Bank Group; Sergio Pimenta, the IFC’s Vice President for the Middle East and Africa; Marina Weiss, Regional Director of the World Bank in Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti; and Walid Labadi, the IFC’s Country Manager for Egypt, Libya and Yemen.
Minister Al-Mashat added that 2021 will be the year for strengthening participation with the private sector in light of the national development agenda. This will take place through joint cooperation platforms that bring together relevant parties from international financing institutions and the private sector.
She said that, in light of the world’s efforts to increase reliance on green financing to achieve sustainable development, the Ministry of International Cooperation seeks to focus its discussions with development partners on making these tools available in the local market for the governmental and private sectors. The aim is to promote development within the framework of Egypt’s Vision 2030.
For his part, Diop stressed the importance of the strategic relations between Egypt and the IFC. The corporation aims to enhance the prospects for cooperation with the private sector in Egypt, in light of the structural reform plans that the government seeks to implement.
He pointed out that the IFC is working to promote development in Africa, by utilising Egypt’s position as a major hub for regional development.
Diop also highlighted the strategic and developmental importance of Egypt within the region and within Africa, and the leadership it has acquired in many development fields.
In the same context, Pimenta touched on the importance of the joint coordination cooperation platform launched by the Ministry of International Cooperation. This cooperation aims to strengthen international partnerships and relations between the IFC and the private sector.
The discussions dealt with areas of joint cooperation that could be focused on in the coming period, as part of Egypt’s development priorities, such as renewable energy, transportation, wastewater management, and water desalination.
The ongoing development cooperation portfolio with the IFC includes 98 projects worth $1.27bn in several sectors. They include agriculture, finance, infrastructure, renewable energy, industry and technology.
The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group, and is responsible for private sector development.