Coinciding with the launch of the annual meetings of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Sharmel-Sheikh, under the patronage of Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, the Egyptian Ministry of International Co-operation reviewed the details of the development cooperation portfolio ongoing with the bank since Egypt officially joined its membership in 2016.
AIIB is one of the specialised multilateral international development banks in financing and investing in sustainable infrastructure projects and stimulating green and smart investments that enhance regional connectivity.
Since Egypt joined the bank, the AIIB has contributed to financing a number of projects that come in light of the country’s strategic priority for the public and private sectors, with the portfolio recording about $1.3 billion, in various infrastructure sectors, in order to promote sustainable and comprehensive economic development.
Among the AIIB’s portfolio, it provided soft development financing worth $360 million, including $210 million in financing to 11 private sector companies that contributed to the implementation of the Benban Solar Energy Park in Aswan. This is one of the solar energy parks in the region and the world with capacities of up to 2000 megawatts. The complex is an example of the importance of multilateral co-operation, as many international financial institutions contributed to its financing, including the AIIB, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
In addition, the AIIB made $150 million available in credit lines to banks to re-lend to small and medium enterprises, enhancing the financing available for these types of projects that stimulate comprehensive and sustainable growth and provide job opportunities. Over the past three years, the Ministry of International Co-operation has strengthened international partnerships aimed at empowering the private sector, which resulted in soft development financing for the private sector amounting to approximately $7.3 billion, in addition to $2 billion from the beginning of 2023 until now.
Additionally, the AIIB has contributed to providing soft development financing worth $300 million to the water sector in light of the priority given by the state to sustainable water resources management projects and the implementation of SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation.
During the past year, the bank also provided development policy financing worth $360 million, which aims to support development efforts by enhancing overall sustainability, opening horizons for private sector participation in development, and stimulating women’s empowerment efforts.
Moreover, the bank is one of the multilateral development banks contributing to the financing of the Abu Qir Metro Project in Alexandria, as it provides concessional development financing worth €250 million. The Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Rania al-Mashat, signed the financing agreement with the President of the Bank during her visit to the Chinese capital, Beijing, last July. The project contributes to reducing traffic congestion in Alexandria, supports the transition to environmentally friendly means of transportation, and reduces harmful emissions.
It is worth noting that, during the current year, Al-Mashat paid multiple visits within the framework of the role assigned to the Ministry to enhance multilateral cooperation and develop economic relations with multilateral and bilateral development partners to advance the country’s development vision.
This year witnessed a boost in Egyptian relations with Asian countries, international financial institutions, and multilateral development banks, based on the state’s keenness to diversify and strengthen its relations with various multilateral and bilateral development partners to support the state’s 2030 development vision.
The most prominent developments in cooperation with Asia during 2023 include Egypt’s membership in the New Development Bank (NDB) of the BRICS group during the current year where Al-Mashat participated in the 8th session of the bank’s annual meetings, which were held in Shanghai, China. During which she confirmed that Egypt will obtain membership in the NDB, along with the major emerging economies members of the BRICS group.
This year witnessed the holding of the Joint Policy Dialogue, organised by the Ministry of International Cooperation and the Japanese Embassy in Cairo with the participation of concerned parties from both sides.
Al-Mashat signed several joint cooperation agreements, including a project to localize the metro cars industry in Egypt, manufacturing and supplying 40 train units, as well as enhancing technical support for the process of establishing the Egyptian Authority for Intellectual Property.
The Council of Ministers decided to form the Ministerial Committee, Unity of India, with the Ministry of International Cooperation being the rapporteur of unity to coordinate between national bodies to set priorities and areas of cooperation with the Indian side.