International Cooperation Minister Rania el Mashat has held several meetings with a number of Arab, African and foreign ministers, as well as CEOs of some global companies, on the sidelines of her participation in the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, according to a statement released by the International Cooperation Ministry on Tuesday 24/5/2022.
Mashat discussed in a meeting with Swiss Federal Councilor for Economic Affairs, Education and Research Guy Parmelin ways of strengthening economic relations between Egypt and Switzerland, which extend for over 40 years, with a total development cooperation portfolio of more than CHF700 million that covers approximately 200 projects in many fields, including rural development, water and health projects.
She also applauded joint relations with Switzerland, which enhanced the role of civil society in development, and joint cooperation with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and other Swiss institutions.
On that score, Mashat highlighted the importance of enhancing cooperation with the private sector and SMEs in Egypt, and in the health, food and infrastructure sectors.
The pair also mulled proposed projects within the framework of the 2021 - 2024 Egypt-Switzerland Cooperation Program, which was launched last November and comprises different fields, notably renewable energy and technical support for railway projects and education.
The meeting also tackled available cooperation opportunities in the presidential initiative Decent Life (Hayah Karima).
Mashat and Parmelin spoke about Egypt's preparations for the UN climate change conference (COP27), and the need to enhance private sector participation in adaptation and mitigation projects to address the repercussions of this phenomenon.
In the context of strengthening cooperation within the African Continent, Mashat met with Congo's Minister for International Cooperation Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso.
They discussed areas of cooperation between the two countries and coordinated efforts regarding preparations for Egypt's presidency of the COP27, which is of great importance to Africa in terms of advancing the green transformation through mitigation and adaptation.
Meanwhile, the international cooperation minister met with Singapore's Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam. They discussed potential opportunities for cooperation and the support that Singapore can offer within the framework of Egypt's COP27 presidency.
Mashat affirmed Egypt's keenness to strengthen its relations with Singapore and to increase private sector investments between both countries.
She also explained that Egypt had implemented an economic and structural reform program in 2016, and is moving forward with these reforms in the current period to address challenges in economic growth, while also maintaining comprehensive and sustainable growth.
Mashat noted that Egypt is committed to enhancing private sector participation and opening the door to investment opportunities in different sectors.
Moreover, Mashat met with Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Nayef Falah al Hajraf, where they discussed Egyptian-Gulf relations and joint economic trade and investment opportunities.
On his part, Hajraf voiced keenness to explore areas and opportunities for future cooperation between Egypt and Gulf cooperation countries at all levels.
In the context of enhancing private sector participation, Mashat met with Brad Smith, Microsoft's President.
During the meeting, the international cooperation minister reviewed the Egyptian government's efforts in digital transformation and sustainable development.
She stressed the importance of the fourth industrial revolution in embracing modern technologies as a major component of the national agenda.
Mashat explained that the Ministry of International Cooperation cooperates with bilateral and multilateral development partners to support the aforementioned efforts through development financing and technical support.
For his part, Smith also underlined the importance of the Egyptian market, expressing Microsoft's keenness to enhance cooperation with Egypt in applying digital transformation.
Additionally, the international cooperation minister discussed in a meeting with CEO Majid Al Futtaim Group , Alain Bejjani means of strengthening the private sector engagement, along with the policies and partnerships needed to implement an enhanced public-private dialogue. Bejjani confirmed his keenness to enhance investments in the Egyptian market, a key regional market for Majid Al Futtaim Group.
Mashat also met with Ann Mettler, Vice President of Breakthrough Energy, founded in 2015 by Bill Gates and several investors to support global efforts in the green transformation, reduce emissions, and support public-private partnerships in sustainable development.
During the meeting, the international cooperation minister posted Mettler on the great progress made by Egypt in the past few years in terms of expanding into renewable energy projects
The pair also probed how to stimulate the private sector's participation in solar and wind energy projects.
Meanwhile, Mashat discussed with CEO of Hitachi Energy Claudio Facchin solutions for transition into green economy through increasing reliance on clean energy.
In this regard, the international cooperation minister pointed to Egypt's structural reforms in energy.
Mashat met with Anthony Hobley, the Executive Director of Mission Possible Partnership, an international organization that is focused on reducing carbon emissions and promoting climate action. The meeting took up the role of public-private partnerships in advancing climate action and in implementing international commitments for the green transformation; moving from pledges to tangible action.
Additionally, Mashat sat with one of the most prominent economists and former President of the World Bank Group (WBG), Joseph Stiglitz.
She expounded Egypt's development efforts, as well as economic and structural reforms that contributed to curbing the impact of successive global crises.
The international cooperation minister briefed Stiglitz on ongoing discussions with bilateral and multilateral development partners to push for innovative financing mechanisms to meet global goals.
In a meeting with Gargee Ghosh, the President of Global Policy and Advocacy of the Gates Foundation, Mashat discussed cooperation opportunities ahead of the COP27.
The international cooperation minister stressed the need to strengthen technical cooperation to enhance adaptation and mitigation efforts on climate change.
The Gates Foundation is a non-profit organization that is working to support development efforts and to localize innovation and modern technologies.
Mashat stated that supporting climate action, utilizing innovative climate solutions to reduce harmful emissions, and providing financing opportunities require joint efforts with all relevant parties, including non-profit institutions.
For his part, Ghosh said the Gates Foundation is keen to enhance cooperation frameworks with Egypt, as well as with African countries, in line with the green transformation efforts and in support of sustainable development.
Mashat and President of the Growing Africa's Agriculture (AGRAAlliance) Agnes Kalibata discussed the alliance's role in mobilizing international efforts towards applying the green transformation in Africa; one of the most impacted regions, while emphasizing the need for cooperation and financing adaptation projects.
The AGRAAlliance is working to mobilize efforts to support agricultural communities in the continent and to meet the needs of environmental conservation, in an attempt to maintain environmental sustainability, increase productivity, enhance the growth of the African agricultural market, stimulate comprehensive transformation in Africa and enhance food security, through working with partners in and outside of the continent, strengthening policies and technology system and building capacities.
Al-Mashat is participating in the 2022 World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, under the title “History at a Turning Point: Government Policies & Business Strategies” until Thursday.
Being physically held for the first time since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, this event witnesses the participation of over 2,500 leaders, decision-makers, and international institutions. The forum's activities cover eight main themes: climate and nature, fairer economies, tech and innovation, jobs and skills, better business, health and healthcare, global cooperation, and society and equity.