International institutions’ finances and the private sector should play a larger role in supporting Egypt’s efforts concerning development projects, recovery from the pandemic, and achieving the country’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) agenda, according to the speakers in the high-level side event ‘Pushing Stakeholder Capitalism Through International Cooperation” that was held on Monday as a part of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) forum 2021.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s financial arm, has stepped up its support and extended to the Middle East region, including Egypt, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a total of $8 billion in operations over various sectors, especially in the health sector, said Sergio Pimenta, the vice president of the IFC for the Middle East and Africa.
Pimenta’s comments came as an answer to Ahram Online’s question during the event.
He added that the IFC also engages in a number of operations in the Egyptian market that aims to help the country rebuild its economy better amid the ongoing crisis.
“Small and medium-sized enterprises was severely hit by the pandemic globally in Egypt and they need to have access to finances. This is not the role of the government alone, but also the private sector’s as well. Also, tapping the digital assets in this regard could benefit such a sector amid the ongoing challenges,” said Pimenta.
He also noted that engaging women in the workforce would benefit Egypt’s economy and GDP significantly as well as support the country’s recovery efforts.
Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla said that public-private investments are imperative for Egypt’s development plans in all sectors, and they are important in supporting Egypt’s national agenda for the SDGs.
El-Molla added that the Eastern-Mediterranean Gas Forum is a model for this kind of investments as the members cooperate together to extend the commercial, financial, and technical support for those who operate in the sector.
He unveiled that 60 international companies are operating in the oil and gas sector, which constitutes 24 percent of Egypt’s GDP, adding that the ministry signed 84 concession agreements in the sector over the last five years, with total investments worth $40 billion.
“We plan to receive $8 to 10 billion in investments till the end of 2021”, said El-Molla.
The speakers asserted the importance of multilateralism in supporting Egypt’s recovery efforts and praised the role international institutions are playing in providing the country with finance that backs its actions, especially in development and achieving the SDGs.
On her side, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat expounded that the government, private sector, and the civil society together play a role in boosting the country’s development efforts, especially in the ongoing challenging time.
She added that despite the pandemic and its associated negative impacts, Egypt managed to secure $9.8 billion in finances for development projects in various sectors.