Spanish companies are keen on expanding and investing in Egypt, as it is their top leading destination in Africa, with the support of the Government of Spain, said Spain’s Minister of Trade Xiana Méndez Bértolo.
Bértolo made her statements during a meeting held virtually on Monday with Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat to discuss areas of joint cooperation between Egypt and Spain, in light of the status of the current portfolio of projects and the possibility of future partnerships.
The Spanish minister also affirmed that Egypt is one of the most important foreign investment markets for Spanish companies, especially across the sectors of transportation, infrastructure, solar energy, and water treatment.
This meeting came within the framework of the periodic meetings the international cooperation ministry holds with multilateral and bilateral development partners in order to boost Egypt’s regional and global economic cooperation.
During the meeting, Al-Mashat discussed with Bértolo the possibility of launching an innovative mechanism for enhancing economic cooperation to promote economic growth and raise employment rates in both countries.
The two sides also explored the projects to be implemented within the framework of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) that allocates €300 million for the strengthening of financial cooperation between Egypt and Spain.
Moreover, they discussed the status of the ongoing projects carried out within the framework of the joint cooperation between Egypt and Spain, which includes a cultural project that aims to develop and preserve Luxor’s archaeological sites; in addition to another project that supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt by providing lines of credit; and an infrastructure development project focusing on the inauguration of sewage treatment plants in Giza, Assiut, and Aswan.
For her part, Spain’s minister applauded the Egyptian economy’s positive growth during the COVID-19 pandemic and discussed the wide horizons of future projects during 2021.
She added Egypt’s positive growth goes back to the financial and monetary structural reforms implemented before 2020, in addition to implementing major development projects across vital sectors such as renewable energy, water, and sanitation, as well as infrastructure.
The history of cooperation between Egypt and Spain dates back to the 1990s, as two cooperation protocols were signed. The first cooperation agreement was inked in February 1998, where Spain provided €225 million of development financing to Egypt. The second agreement was signed in 2008, via a MoU worth €250 million.
The portfolio of cooperation between both countries since 2012 amounts to €190 million covering various sectors such as water treatment, energy, housing, and SMEs.
The cooperation framework covers the offering of grants as well by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) to develop the health and tourism sectors. Both countries’ development agendas also focus on instilling empowering and inclusive communities for women and youth, as well as a transparent and just development ecosystem via Egypt's National Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development.