Minister of International Cooperation in Egypt Rania Al-Mashat said that over the course of 2020 and 2021, Egypt was able to conclude development financing agreements worth $20 bn, about $5bn of which (25%) went to private sector companies and commercial banks.
She added that this reflects the important role of development partners in opening up prospects for economic opportunities for the private sector.
Her remarks came during her participation in an event in which the ‘Enhancing Economic Opportunities for the Private Sector in Egypt After the Coronavirus Pandemic’ report prepared by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) — in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham Egypt) and the Japanese Embassy in Cairo — was launched with the aim of addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the private sector in Egypt.
In her speech, Al-Mashat said that the pandemic marked the beginning of a long period of challenges and changes in the world, some of which still affect development efforts, but it also revealed huge economic opportunities and reinforced the need to move forward with economic and structural reforms to drive economic, comprehensive, and sustainable growth, preserving development gains as well as the need to open more economic opportunities for the private sector to play its role alongside governments and relevant parties in achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The minister stressed that the most important thing revealed by the pandemic is the importance of governments, institutions, and individuals having the flexibility and the necessary ability to adapt to changes, prepare for the future, and deal with expected shocks.
“The report we are dealing with comes at an exceptional time, as the government is already working on a clear vision to empower the private sector through the State Ownership Policies Document, and the Egyptian state is preparing to host and chair the UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh this November, which reinforces the importance of cooperation between relevant parties in order to stimulate ideas and visions that support the private sector in the Egyptian market, drive the development of more comprehensive business strategies to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth, and promote impact investment and innovation-based projects,” said Al-Mashat.
She also touched on the importance of international partnerships in stimulating the role of the private sector in development through development finance, technical support, and the exchange of experiences and technologies.
Furthermore, the minister referred to the economic conference that the government is scheduled to hold at the end of October under the directives of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi with the aim of shedding light on the current economic conditions and the future of the Egyptian economy with the participation of specialists, experts, and representatives of the business community to set a road map for the coming period.
She pointed out that the conference will also focus on the role played by development partners in integrating with the government’s efforts to support development.