Banking sector plays crucial role in supporting green economy: NBE chairperson

Hossam Mounir
4 Min Read

Hisham Okasha, the chairperson of the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), emphasized that sustainability is impossible to achieve without the banking sector. The banking sector actively funds environmentally friendly projects across various key sectors, and banks operating in the Egyptian market play a significant role in supporting and financing companies involved in the green economy.

Okasha highlighted the ongoing cooperation between NBE and various international financial institutions to finance micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). These efforts align with the goals of sustainable development and Egypt’s Vision 2030.

These discussions took place during the session titled “Sustainable Finance: Investing in Sustainable Development in Africa” within the framework of the first edition of the annual forum of the United Nations Global Compact. The forum, organized by the Egyptian network of the United Nations Global Compact, carried the theme “Towards Sustainable Africa.”

Furthermore, Okasha underscored the crucial role played by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) in educating and guiding the banking sector toward integrating sustainability principles. This alignment contributes to achieving the state’s vision and driving the transition towards a green economy while mitigating environmental risks.

The NBE’s contributions to social responsibility have exceeded EGP 5.5bn, granted under sustainable development standards. These funds support various fields, including health, education, and improving citizens’ quality of life. Additionally, the bank actively supports women who are breadwinners and people with disabilities.

Mohamed Farid, the chairperson of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA), shed light on the benefits for investors resulting from reducing carbon emissions. He emphasized that such reductions can yield long-term returns for companies.

Farid also stressed that reducing carbon emissions is no longer a luxury; it has become a fundamental aspect of global trade exchange.

The FRA actively supports Egypt’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality in line with international standards and Egypt’s Vision 2030 for sustainable development. Farid revealed that trading and settlement rules for carbon emissions reduction certificates will be finalized within weeks.

The FRA’s strategy includes developing non-banking financial markets while safeguarding the rights of all stakeholders and creating a conducive business environment.

Hossam Haiba, CEO of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, highlighted the Authority’s focus on attracting sustainable local and foreign direct investments. Their efforts prioritize environmental preservation and job creation, with education and infrastructure projects at the forefront.

Haiba emphasized that the green and circular economy plays a pivotal role in the investment vision. The green economy involves clean energy generation and the adoption of environmentally friendly practices in various industries, including cement production. Meanwhile, the circular economy focuses on effective waste management and reduction, drawing inspiration from successful initiatives in Europe.

Looking ahead, Haiba revealed the Authority’s goal to boost the contribution of new and renewable energy to more than 30% next year, ensuring adaptability and fostering a green economy.

He also stressed the importance of data awareness and availability. Furthermore, Haiba called upon the local private sector to actively engage in sustainability projects, leveraging the incentives provided by the Egyptian Investment Law.

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