The South Korean Government has announced that Egypt will be an official development assistance (ODA) priority partner country and the key development partner in the MENA region over the coming five years (2021-2025).
The announcement came during a meeting held on Wednesday between Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat and the Ambassador of South Korean Ambassador to Cairo Hong Jin-wook. The two officials discussed the economic ties between the two countries as well as the ways to expand and promote systematic development cooperation through an ODA country partnership strategy (CPS), which will be drawn up in the coming months.
Minister Al-Mashat said that the 2021-2025 strategy is expected to push forward the economic relations between the two countries, particularly in digitisation and the green economy to aid Egypt’s resilient and sustainable recovery within the framework of its development priorities, in line with the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
She also added that the coming period will witness negotiations and discussions on common areas of cooperation in the cooperation strategy.
During the meeting, Al-Mashat and Jin-wook discussed the results of ongoing discussions with the South Korean Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Export-Import Bank of Korea regarding financing projects in the transport sector, including a project that aims to modernise the signals on the Luxor-Aswan railway.
Moreover, the two sides reviewed the status of ongoing ODA grants, worth $2.7 million including $1.9 million for newly implemented projects in 2021 including the master plan for the modernisation of urban transportation in Alexandria and the waste management in Greater Cairo project.
They also agreed to organise regular working-level consultations to explore new projects in diversified fields and possible adaptation of framework agreement between ministry of international cooperation and the Republic of Korea embassy.
Al-Mashat emphasised the importance of joint cooperation with South Korea for development efforts in Egypt, as this is within its 2030 Vision.
The minister also applauded the Korean government’s response in supporting Egypt in combating the COVID-19 pandemic by providing medical supplies and financial aid to curb economic, social and health effects. South Korea had provided three shipments of medical supplies worth $900,000 in 2020.
Ambassador Jin-wook said that there will be tremendous expansion of development cooperation between the two countries in the coming period in light of choosing Egypt as one of South Korea’s ODA countries.
“Egypt is the only country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region that has been selected to be one of the priority partners with the country's potential in its growing young, and capable workforce. Moreover, Egypt is already a strategic centre for Korean companies in Africa, the Middle East and Europe,” Jin-wook illustrated.
He also expressed hope that activating this partnership would contribute to the successful implementation of the social and economic structural reforms undertaken by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.
The ongoing development finance portfolio between Egypt and South Korea amounts to $473 million covering several sectors, including high education and information technology as well as transportation.