SHARM EL SHEIKH- Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi witnessed here on Monday the opening of the eighth Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli, Finance Minister Mohammed Maait and a galaxy of state officials are attending the two-day meetings, along with participants from 106 countries, partners, business leaders, civil society organizations and experts from a range of fields from all around the world.
This year’s annual meeting marks AIIB’s first in-person Annual Meeting since 2019, and the first one in Africa.
The theme of the Eighth Annual Meeting is “Sustainable Growth in a Challenging World,” which highlights AIIB’s continued commitment to supporting the key infrastructure demands of its Members, and alludes to the climate-centered global agenda, and the compounding challenges faced by its Members.
The logo of the 2023 AM draws inspiration from the iconic Giza Pyramids of Egypt, the letter A, and the number 8 in the Arabic numeral system. The eight pyramids together represent the eighth Annual Meeting of the Bank, while the negative space inside each pyramid symbolizes a road moving forward.
The 2023 AIIB Annual Meeting program provides a rich variety of engaging sessions that explore the latest trends and issues relevant to sustainable growth and infrastructure connectivity across Asia and beyond.
Addressing the opening session of the annual meetings of AIIB, AIIB President Jin Liqun said Egypt witnessed a big leap in growth of infrastructure under President Sisi.
Egypt’s infrastructure has a special position in the world, citing the example of building the Pyramids and Suez Canal that allows the crossing of 12 per cent of the international trade.
He also praised Egypt’s achievements in establishing the New Administrative Capital, which he viewed as the best projects carried out by the State.
AIIB president also underlined the necessity of attaching special importance to infrastructure projects across the world in order to be able to absorb the natural catastrophes similar to what happened in Morocco and Libya.
Also, Vice-President and Corporate Secretary Ludger Schuknecht voiced happiness over Sisi’s participation in this year’s annual meeting of AIIB. He also extended thanks to the Egyptian government over hosting the bank’s meetings and voiced appreciation for the support of Egypt and its people.
Then, a documentary film was screened to shed light on the bank’s efforts in sustainable development and infrastructure. The film underlined the bank’s efforts in extending solar energy resources to the countries that need them, in addition to deepening co-operation with the countries that need to achieve sustainable development and upgraded infrastructure.
Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said many developing countries, including the emerging ones, need a variety of fundamental resources to recover their economy in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
She called on the developed countries, multilateral credit banks, including the AIIB, to fulfil their commitments to offer more incentives and privileges to member countries to face the impact of current economic crisis.
She also affirmed backing for the AIIB’s commitment to allocate a portion of budget to climate finance and support the countries willing to achieve its climate agendas to comply with the international agenda of reaching zero-carbon emissions.
Finance Minister Mohamed Maeet, for his part, said the eighth annual meetings of AIIB affirmed Egypt’s leading role at the regional and international arenas through holding a number of vital events.
He shed light on Egypt’s efforts to reinforce its international co-operation among the region’s states and across the continents.
Maeet reiterated Cairo’s backing for the comprehensive and sustainable development axes that could bring about prosperity and wellbeing for all peoples of the world.
A documentary was displayed on cooperation between the AIIB and Egypt in light of current challenges of climate change, population increase, among others.
The film underlined the bank’s role, since its establishment in 2015 involving 57 states, in supporting the governments that seek to support the eco-friendly infrastructure backed with the state-of-the-art technologies. It said the AIIB has been able to carry out 233 projects worth $44.6 billion in 35 states in the field of infrastructure.
The film also shed light on Egypt’s weight and its political and economic position as a founding member of AIIB, in addition to being the biggest supporter in Africa and the Middle East with a funding share of $650 million.
It also reviewed the projects that have been implemented by Egypt since 2014, citing the examples of the New Suez Canal, the upgrade of roads, harbors as well as other land transportation means in Sinai, “Decent Life”, the New Administrative Capital, as well as other mega projects.
Following the end of the opening session, President Sisi participated in a debate session on the role of AIIB in channeling the private sector’s capitals to investment in the infrastructure with the aim of creating job opportunities and achieving development goals.