SPIEF: BRICS+ cooperation key to food security amid geopolitical tensions, says Egypt’s Planning Minister

Mohamed Samir
3 Min Read
Egypt's Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

Hala El-Said, Egypt’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development, addressed the urgent issue of global food security at the 27th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). Speaking during a session titled “The Role of BRICS in Ensuring Global Food Security,” El-Said emphasized the potential of the BRICS+ alliance to tackle this critical challenge, particularly in the face of escalating geopolitical tensions and climate change.

El-Said highlighted the stark reality of global hunger, which remains stubbornly high despite a relative plateau between 2021 and 2022. She emphasized the vulnerability of agri-food systems to market fluctuations and external shocks, including conflicts, extreme weather events, and economic downturns. Additionally, she drew attention to the significant environmental impact of agri-food systems, which account for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The minister proposed a multifaceted approach to address these complex issues, centred on the collaborative efforts of the BRICS+ nations. She pointed to the group’s combined strengths, including vast agricultural lands, diverse resources, technological innovation, and large consumer markets, as a powerful engine for change.

El-Said advocated for knowledge sharing and technology transfer, particularly in areas such as renewable energy, digital agriculture, and climate-adaptive farming. She also called for increased investment in agricultural research and development, infrastructure development, and policy harmonization.

The minister underscored the importance of trade within the BRICS+ bloc, emphasizing the need for common product standards, streamlined operational methods, and the removal of trade barriers. She also highlighted the potential of the BRICS+ initiative to create a new platform for regional and bilateral alliances, fostering deeper economic cooperation among member states.
El-Said further emphasized the role of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement in providing financial stability and support to member countries. She also advocated for increased local currency financing within the bloc to reduce transaction costs and exchange rate volatility.

In the context of Egypt, El-Said outlined the government’s efforts to ensure food and water security, including the national strategy for food security, which focuses on horizontal expansion, modern agricultural practices, and enhanced livestock and fish production.

El-Said concluded her address by emphasizing the importance of continued cooperation and innovation within the BRICS+ framework to ensure global food security for all. “By focusing on these research areas, policymakers and stakeholders can develop more effective strategies to leverage BRICS’s potential to ensure global food security for all,” she stat

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Mohamed Samir Khedr is an economic and political journalist, analyst, and editor specializing in geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, and the Eastern Mediterranean. For the past decade, he has covered Egypt's and the MENA region's financial, business, and geopolitical updates. Currently, he is the Executive Editor of the Daily News Egypt, where he leads a team of journalists in producing high-quality, in-depth reporting and analysis on the region's most pressing issues. His work has been featured in leading international publications. Samir is a highly respected expert on the Middle East and Africa, and his insights are regularly sought by policymakers, academics, and business leaders. He is a passionate advocate for independent journalism and a strong believer in the power of storytelling to inform and inspire. Twitter: https://twitter.com/Moh_S_Khedr LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mohamed-samir-khedr/
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