Minister Al-Mashat discusses boosting Egypt economy with World Bank, JICA during Spring Meetings

Doaa A.Moneim , Tuesday 16 Apr 2024

Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the World Bank Rania Al-Mashat met with key representatives of the World Bank Group during the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the WB Group in Washington.

Spring Meetings


The discussions centred around regional and international challenges, the development of the World Bank Group's role, and various areas of cooperation to support Egypt's economic development.

Minister Al-Mashat emphasized the importance of expanding the scope of development financing for countries, considering the significant financing needed to achieve sustainable development goals, combat poverty, promote shared prosperity, and enhance resilience to shocks.

The meetings addressed the development policy financing programme for Egypt to support structural reforms in three key areas: enhancing economic competitiveness and the business environment, strengthening macroeconomic resilience, and promoting the transition to a green economy.

The programme aligns with the Country Partnership Framework between Egypt and the World Bank Group for 2023-2027 and seeks to foster private sector growth and equal opportunities.

Encouraging foreign investment

Collaboration between Egypt and the World Bank Group was discussed in various fields, focusing on technical support provided by the World Bank in preparing diagnostic reports and studies.

Special attention was given to studies on foreign direct investment in Egypt and the national strategy for industrial development and trade promotion. These studies play a crucial role in attracting foreign investments and promoting industry localization across sectors.

The discussions also covered efforts to strengthen the private sector's role and create an attractive environment for investments, including support for state-owned companies and economic and structural reforms.

Investing in human capital

Minister Al-Mashat underscored the World Bank Group's vital role in supporting social protection efforts in Egypt through the Takaful and Karama programme.

Takaful and Karama, valued at $900 million in soft development financing, support the lowest-income groups and enhance protection efforts.

The World Bank has recently made available an additional tranche of $500 million to further invest in human capital and support vulnerable communities.

The discussions also touched on the significance of the under-development universal health insurance project to improving healthcare services.

Cooperation in climate action was a prominent topic, with Egypt's pioneering role in implementing national platforms and strategies highlighted.

Al-Mashat discussed the NWFE program, which supports implementing the National Climate Change Strategy, and the Country Climate and Development Report developed in collaboration with the World Bank.

The meetings also explored joint efforts to empower women and increase their participation in development, along with the involvement of the private sector in transportation sector projects.

Al-Mashat emphasized the ministry's commitment to enhancing the effectiveness of development cooperation by conducting regular follow-ups on the ongoing cooperation portfolio with various partners.

These discussions included technical support to the Ministry of Finance in financial management, accounting, debt management, and risk management.

Ongoing cooperation

In March, the Ministry of International Cooperation announced a three-year financing package from the World Bank Group totalling $6 billion.

This package includes $3 billion to support Egypt's economic reform programme and $3 billion to empower the private sector. The financing focuses on increasing opportunities for private sector participation, improving governance of state-owned companies, and enhancing public resource management.

The World Bank Group's ongoing development cooperation portfolio in Egypt exceeds $8 billion, comprising funds from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation, and guarantees to the private sector through the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.

Cooperation with Japan

Al-Mashat also met with representatives from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to strengthen strategic cooperation between Egypt and Japan and explore opportunities for joint development initiatives.

The discussions centred on supporting Egypt's economic and structural reforms, enhancing the competitiveness of the Egyptian economy, and transitioning to a green economy through development policy financing.

Al-Mashat emphasized that the cooperation with JICA is part of the broader efforts undertaken with other development partners.

The meeting also addressed the upcoming visit of the JICA technical mission to Egypt in April, which will further explore opportunities for cooperation.

These programmes were a key focus of the discussions, particularly in cultural and food security areas.

The parties discussed implementing projects under the NWFE programme, which focuses on the nexus of water, food, and energy.

Collaboration with Japan in this area aims to support small farmers, improve the living standards of low-income individuals, and develop strategies to enhance agricultural production and expand agricultural land.

Minister Al-Mashat announced plans to hold the annual Egyptian-Japanese policy dialogue in the second half of the year, underlining the ministry's efforts to advance relations between the two countries to elevate relations to a strategic partnership.

Egyptian-Japanese relations have witnessed significant progress under the leadership of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

Several high-level visits, including one by the late Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe to Egypt in 2015 and President El-Sisi's visit to Tokyo in 2016, resulted in new bilateral initiatives in education, health, electricity, and infrastructure.

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