Egypt’s Minister of Finance Mohamed Maeet, who also Egypt’s Governor of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), said on Monday that Egypt, with its affiliation to Africa and to Asia via the Sinai Peninsula, supports all efforts and axes of comprehensive and sustainable development in the world so that prosperity may prevail. The minister pointed out that Egypt is looking forward to a greater role by banks and international multilateral institutions in achieving the development and financing vision for emerging economies, developing and African countries through easy and appropriate terms, based on deepening the partnership with the private sector, as it is the engine of growth.
“All countries must come together to overcome global challenges, and strive Seriously for greater international economic justice,” he remarked.
The minister’s statements came during the opening session of the annual meetings of AIIB in Sharm El-Sheikh, which President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi witnessed.
“Our meeting comes at a time when the world needs to deepen regional and international cooperation and cross-border communication through the private sector, which is one of the most important axes of the work of the Asian Bank, as it is multilateral.”
The parties, Maeet continued, aim to work on sustainable development partnerships in the world by increasing investment in infrastructure.
The Minister, Governor of Egypt at AIIB, pointed out that the AIIB represents an important and effective development partner for Egypt, as the investment portfolio has reached about $1.3 billion so far, and there are great opportunities for more than a billion dollars in various sectors, relying on the private sector to implement these projects to improve the efficiency of infrastructure.
The AIIB provides a real and strong opportunity for the Egyptian private sector to achieve economic sustainability, which is consistent with what the Egyptian government that emphasises the importance and centrality of the role of the private sector in leading growth of The Egyptian economy and contributing to achieving the goals and aspirations of the New Republic, Maeet said.
Egypt is looking forward to deepening aspects of bilateral cooperation with this multilateral bank in various sectors, and increasing the participation of the private sector in green economy projects, fighting against climate change, and investing in technological infrastructure, by mobilising financial resources for private investments.
“This contributes to attracting more investors to priority development sectors to improve the lives of citizens and create job opportunities.”
In his speech, the minister added that Egypt is keen to support multilateral development partnerships by taking advantage of this international event for AIIB that was able to reach all continents to become the second largest multilateral bank in the world by implementing the agenda of Developmental and sustainable financing that benefits all its members.
The number of projects financed by the AIIB has reached 232 covering many sectors in 35 countries with a value of $44 billion. “We look forward to building the new global financial structure that helps achieve sustainable and comprehensive economic development, and provide a more positive and fair climate among all countries in various sectors.”
The minister went on to say that Egypt is moving steadily towards supporting the strategies and objectives of the bank’s work, as it is one of the first founding countries and the largest and most important contributor from the African continent to the bank, with a financing share of $650 million.
Mait held a meeting with Christopher Hui, Minister of Financial Services and Treasury of Hong Kong, on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Sharmel-Sheikh.
Maeet pointed out the keenness to strengthen economic cooperation to develop joint trade and investment relations between the two sides in order for more Chinese investments to flow into various sectors and exchange experiences, and also benefit from Hong Kong’s experience in attracting foreign investments.
“We have a development movement that provides promising opportunities in infrastructure and green projects, and opens up broad horizons to attract new segments of foreign investors, in addition to the advantages and incentives that the Suez Canal Economic Zone offers as a result of its strategic location. This contributes to creating a favorable business environment that encourages foreign and local investors to expand their investments in the region,” he noted.
The Minister explained that the government is pursuing a diverse and innovative financing strategy based on multiple markets, financing tools, and investors, in a way that contributes to addressing inflationary pressures resulting from successive global crises, achieving comprehensive development, and providing soft development financing to achieve economic goals.
Meanwhile, Maeet confirmed that there are huge financing gaps that no single government can fill, as countries’ budgets cannot bear more huge financing pressures, and private capital represents great importance in this context, in various ways.
“It needs stimulation and encouragement to push private sector to play its desired role, especially in emerging markets.”
The minister’s statement came during his participation in a panel discussion on the role of multilateral development banks in stimulating the private sector to contribute to the development process. According to Mait there are more programmes and financing opportunities that encourage the private sector to invest strongly in sustainable development sectors, especially infrastructure, explaining that the time has come to maximize private investment efforts in promoting economic growth with the aim of improving citizens’ lives and creating job opportunities.
Gene Lichun, President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, said the bank is working to build partnerships between the public and private sectors by providing easy financing that stimulates investment in the infrastructure sectors, but it requires more government efforts in various countries to create an attractive environment for business based on facilitating procedures.
He explained that the next stage will witness work to create more investment opportunities for the private sector within the framework of the bank’s strategy.
Dr. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance of Indonesia, stressed the need to pay greater attention to creating a legislative environment and a system of executive programmes that are consistent with the Bank’s strategy to stimulate the private sector to invest strongly in infrastructure projects to lay the foundations for sustainable development, expressing her appreciation for the Bank’s efforts made in this context.