The Daily News Egypt
EU foreign policy chief expected to sign MoUs with Egypt in April
Nasr discusses future cooperation with representatives of financial institutions, private sector companies
The Egyptian delegation actively participated at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings, which were held from 19 to 20 April. During the talks, Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr discussed, with an EU official, Federica Mogherini’s expected signing of several memoranda of understanding with the country during her planned visit to Egypt at the end of April.
Nasr also held a set of sideline meetings with major financial institutions. Meanwhile, Minister of Finance Amr El-Garhy said in a statement on Thursday that the Egyptian participants at the Spring Meetings met with major banks to discuss Egypt’s credit rating, reviewing the transparency of preparing the state budget through interactive discussions with Egyptian citizens.
Nasr met with representatives of several major US companies on the sidelines of her participation at the Spring Meetings, according to a Friday press release from her ministry.
The minister presented the recent reforms of the investment climate, noting that the Egyptian government is actively working to encourage private sector investments as an engine for economic growth, job creation, and eliminating poverty.
She said that Egypt has implemented major economic and investment reforms, including important regulations such as the new Investments Law and the incentives related to it.
Nasr added that her ministry encourages private companies to participate in the megaprojects that the Egyptian government is adopting, whereby the Suez Canal Economic Zone is one of the main projects that aims to boost the benefits of the promising Suez Canal area, noting, “we are establishing new cities such as the New Administrative Capital and New Alamein.”
Moreover, the minister mentioned that her ministry launched Egypt’s investment map in collaboration with other ministries. She encouraged American companies to look at the investment opportunities through the map to benefit from the incentives offered by the new Investment Law.
The minister exalted American companies’ expansions in Egypt, including Mars, Inc and General Electric.
Meanwhile, the investment and international cooperation minister met with Johannes Hahn, European commissioner for enlargement.The two discussed the future projects scheduled as part of the EU Single Support Framework for Egypt through 2020.
Both sides discussed the MoUs that will be signed on the sidelines of High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini’s scheduled visit to Egypt at the end of April.
The minister emphasised her appreciation for the continuous support of the EU to Egypt, especially for the priorities of the development strategy.
“The EU is a strategical partner in the development process. The total grants of the EU for the ongoing projects exceeded €1.3bn but the figure increases to €11bn when adding the other European financial institutions’ support and debts swap,” said Nasr.
The minister met with Yousef Ibrahim Albassam, deputy head of the Saudi Fund for Development, to discuss the financial developments of the common projects, such as “Emaar Sinai” (Rebuilding of Sinai) and to follow up on the outcomes of the Arab financial institutions meetings that were recently held in Jordan.
Nasr said the Egyptian government is keen to speed up the Sinai plan as soon as possible, according to President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s directives, to help offer new job opportunities for women and youth.
Both sides discussed the new bilateral projects in the health, education, and housing sectors, which are top priorities for Egypt, noted the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation in a press release.
During El-Garhy’s meeting with major banks to discuss Egypt’s credit rating, he presented to the audience the Egyptian efforts to enforce the new healthcare coverage system, adding, “Egypt is committed to implementing the inclusive healthcare coverage as a main pillar of the development strategy 2030.”
El-Garhy praised the political leadership’s backing in offering the needed financial support for the new healthcare coverage.
In the same context, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), and the Egyptian government will co-host a high-level conference in Cairo from 5 to 6 May on promoting higher economic growth and job creation in Egypt, according to a Friday press statement from the IMF.
The statement added that the aim of this event is to recognise the successes in macroeconomic stabilisation that Egypt has achieved, and also to help in building consensus among stakeholders around the reforms needed going forward, in order to attain higher, more inclusive growth, and create jobs sustainably to meet the needs of Egypt’s young and growing population.
Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, IMF First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton, CBE Governor Tarek Amer, and Egypt’s Minister of Finance Amr El-Garhy will be among the speakers.
The conference will bring together international and Egyptian high-level policymakers, as well as other experts to exchange perspectives, to reflect on successful international reform experiences, and how these could be relevant to the Egyptian context.
Key topics to be discussed at the conference will include: macroeconomic stabilisation as the foundation for inclusive growth and job creation; successful reform strategies and lessons from other countries; and policies to foster inclusive private sectorled growth.The concluding session, in which a broad cross-section of representatives from civil society, academia, and the private sector are expected to participate, will aim to chart progress for Egypt’s goal for higher, inclusive, and more sustainable growth.