Nevine Gamea — the Minister of Trade and Industry and CEO of the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (MSMEDA) — affirmed the government’s keenness to strengthen cooperation frameworks with international partners in all joint development programmes and projects.
The minister also stressed that special attention is being given to projects directed at MSMEs, which represent more than 80% of the structure of the Egyptian economy.
Gamea said that Egypt has made great strides in the field of economic reform and institutional development, which contributed to strengthening the position of the Egyptian economy on the map of the global economy, garnering praise from all international institutions.
This came during a meeting between Gamea and Alessandro Fracassetti, the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Cairo, in the presence of Executive Vice President of the MSMEDA Tarek Shash.
Gamea explained that there is close cooperation with all UN institutions, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in implementing many development programmes and providing technical support to MSMEs over the past 30 years, which has contributed to the achievement of many success stories.
The meeting dealt with the importance of strengthening the existing partnership between the MSMEDA and the UNDP, especially after the signing of a new cooperation agreement last September, which aims to develop the institutional and operational capabilities of the agency, enabling it to implement various new services provided by the MSMEs Development Law and its executive regulations.
Gamea pointed out that the results of the field survey conducted by the agency in cooperation with the UNDP to study the effects and repercussions of the spread of the coronavirus on the MSME sector were reviewed as well.
Furthermore, she explained that the meeting tackled a number of issues related to strengthening cooperation between the UNDP and the MSMEDA as well as the bodies affiliated with the ministry, such as the Industrial Modernisation Centre, in the areas of digitisation, green economy, new and renewable energy, and women’s empowerment, especially since the agency is the first agency in Egypt and the Arab region to obtain the Gender Seal Certificate, which is considered a global certificate granted to public institutions that work on gender equality and women’s empowerment by integrating gender policies in all internal policies and in the implementation of all projects.
For his part, Fracassetti indicated that industries and economic development that are export-oriented and based on knowledge are of great importance, in addition to the pivotal role of MSMEs in supporting the Egyptian economy, praising in this context the important role played by the MSMEDA in promoting and supporting these projects, empowering women, providing job opportunities for youths, and promoting digital transformation.
He also stressed the importance of the green economy and green projects such as the solar cell systems project, which won the British Energy Institute Award as the best projects submitted globally to reduce greenhouse gases for the year 2020.
The project aims to support the spread of the use of small solar cell plants and is implemented in partnership with the Industrial Modernisation Centre and the UNDP with funding from the Global Environment Facility.
Shash explained that the UNDP is a key partner for the MSMEDA, supporting its institutional and operational capabilities and training cadres, which will reflect positively on the development of the agency’s operational policies and development programmes and benefit thousands of owners of small and micro enterprises.
He stressed that the agency is working to expand cooperation with international donors to implement best practices and exchange experiences to support the small enterprise sector and encourage young people to engage in self-employment and participate in supporting the national economy by increasing production and offering innovative new products capable of competing in international markets.