Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat has held a virtual meeting with Odile Renaud-Basso, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), to discuss areas of joint cooperation.
This would come as part of the bank’s new 2021-2025 strategy, and aims to evaluate proposed topics for annual meetings that will begin towards the end of June.
Minister Al-Mashat also serves as a representative of Egypt and Governor at the EBRD.
During their meeting, Minister Al-Mashat reiterated the Egyptian Government’s support for the EBRD’s strategy, which aims to combat climate change and promote a green economy.
The minister said that Egypt is taking extensive measures to achieve a green and sustainable recovery, by developing strategies to both combat and mitigate the impact of climate change.
Minister Al-Mashat indicated that there are many opportunities for cooperation with the EBRD to implement projects that address climate change in the country. These projects would represent an important aspect in Egypt’s 2030 Vision, and include: catalysing the launch of smart cities; the coastal areas protection policies; and the promotion of agricultural development.
The EBRD’s 2021-2025 strategy, approved in its annual meeting last October, is based on three pillars: supporting the transition to a green economy and promoting environmental sustainability; promoting equal opportunity through access to skills and employment for women and young people; and accelerating the digital transition.
Renaud-Basso shared that the EBRD is supporting countries as they recover from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. She indicated that the bank is interested in expanding its efforts to Africa in the coming period.
In light of the EBRD’s efforts in the continent, Minister Al-Mashat shared that Egypt is one of the bank’s largest countries of operation as this allows for strategic relations with countries across the African continent.
She added that the Ministry of International Cooperation is working to develop economic relations with multilateral and bilateral development partners through its three principles of Economic Diplomacy. These are: holding Multi-Stakeholder Platforms to bring all relevant entities onto the same decision making table; developing the first of its kind Official Development Assistance mapping to the UN SDG to track progress in development projects; and communicating through a consistent Global Partnerships Narrative that puts “People at the Core”, “Projects in Action”, and “Purpose as the Driver”.
In April 2021, Minister Al-Mashat met with Renaud-Basso during her first visit to the region since her election in October 2020. During the visit, two Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) and a development financing agreement were signed to support the Egyptian Government and the private sector’s transition to a green economy.
In 2020, Egypt was the EBRD’s largest country of operations in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region, accounting for more than €1bn that went to financing 21 projects.
This accounted for a total of 47% of the bank’s total investments in the region. Egypt was also the largest country of operations for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019.
The current portfolio of cooperation between Egypt and the EBRD amounts to $1.3bn. Since 2012, the EBRD has invested over €7.2bn to implement 127 projects.