Egypt’s Participation in Davos Forum 2023
Tuesday، 17 January 2023 - 12:00 AM
Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Rania el-Mashat and Minister of Planning and Economic Development Dr. Hala el-Said participated in the 53rd edition of the World Economic Forum (WEF), which is held in Davos, Switzerland during the period from January 16 to 20 under the theme "Cooperation in a Fragmented World", with the participation of 52 heads of state and government, as well as a number of ministers and CEOs of major private companies.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023 is expected to draw a record 2,700 attendees, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and US climate envoy John Kerry.
This year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) focuses on solutions and cooperation between the public and private sectors to address the most urgent needs in the world.
Activities of Egypt’s Participation
Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania el Mashat participated in a session, held as part of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meetings 2023 in Davos, to launch the “Giving to Amplify Earth Action” (GAEA) initiative to achieve an equitable climate- and nature-positive future.
The session witnessed the participation of Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum, John Kerry, the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, Mark Carney, President of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), Desmond Kuek, the CEO of Temasek Trust, businessman Badr Jafar, the CEO of Crescent Enterprises and President of Crescent Petroleum ; and Vice Chairwoman of Carbon Direct Nili Gilbert.
The session was moderated by Ms. Gim Huay Neo (梁锦慧), the Managing Director of the Centre for Nature and Climate at the World Economic Forum.
The session discussed the role of philanthropic organizations in stimulating climate action. It also addressed how the government and private sectors can leverage the resources and tools available to philanthropic organizations to bridge an estimated $100 trillion gap in order to deploy equitable solutions to preserve climate and nature by 2050, as the initiative and its goals were announced.
In her speech, Rania el-Mashat said climate change is a global challenge that requires consolidating efforts and promoting commitment to climate action, as well as making the best use of available resources to finance the green transition.
The minister said that to achieve the goals of the UN Climate Change Conference, developed nations must deliver on their climate finance commitments, adding that "this call to action is extremely timely, as it builds on the directions set during COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, ‘the COP of implementation’ under the Egyptian presidency."
Al-Mashat stated that in 2021, about 2% of the resources of philanthropic organizations were directed to climate action (between $7.5-12.5bn), to assist in efforts to mitigate the repercussions of climate change, while these organizations made available resources estimated at about $810 bn. The Minister stressed that philanthropic organizations can play a catalytic role for climate action through their available resources to finance high-risk projects, as well as technical expertise, and their openness to broad networks of actors, which stimulates the private sector to play a greater role in climate financing.
Mashat also said: "We need more philanthropies to join us at the table and help scale up multilateral development bank finance to unlock private investments to accelerate the green transition."
She added "Egypt will work closely with the World Economic Forum to build effective and impactful philanthropic public private partnerships and promote the role of the prominent ‘P’ – Philanthropy."Moreover, she also referred to the “Sharm El-Sheikh Guidebook for Just Financing”, which was published at COP27 as one of the initiatives of Egypt’s presidency.
She pointed out that the guidebook presents clear principles and recommendations for each of the relevant stakeholders, plays a role in stimulating climate action, and highlights the role of philanthropic organizations. It also notes the coordination between multilateral development banks and other providers of capital such as the private sector and charitable institutions in order to stimulate the provision of financial resources on a large scale.
The session witnessed praise for Egypt’s hosting and chairmanship of COP27, and highlighted the importance of the conference as a step towards the transition from financial commitments to implementation.John Kerry, US Presidential Climate Envoy, also applauded the launch of the NWFE program as a model for developing countries and emerging economies to raise climate finance.
Minister of International Cooperation Rania el-Mashat held bilateral meetings with development partners and CEOs of major private companies during her participation in the first day of the 2023 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
The meetings discussed means of fostering multilateral cooperation and stimulating the private sector's participation in development efforts.
The international cooperation minister met with WEF's Managing Director Mirek Dušek, where she said her ministry looks forward to boosting joint work and future partnerships with the Davos forum, especially with regard to the "Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator."
She also reviewed her ministry's strategy for developing an economic and social system comprising all relevant parties, through multilateral cooperation, the statement noted.
Mashat and Dušek probed ways of enhancing partnerships between Egypt and international financial institutions to open up horizons for private investments in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation, the statement read.
The minister briefed Dušek on the Egyptian State's efforts to stimulate the private sector's participation in the economic activity as a key partner for achieving development in different fields.
Both parties explored the possibility of introducing further incentives for the private sector to increase its presence in priority sectors and benefiting from the WEF's events and platforms that bring together the world's leading investors and senior CEOs, with a view to promoting Egypt's position as a favorable destination for foreign direct investments in the Middle East and Africa.
The Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Rania el-Mashat met with Emirati businessman Khedaim Al Derei, the Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Al Dahra Group that has investments in Egypt's agriculture sector.
Mashat and Derei discussed the potential for increasing Al Dahra Group's investments in Egypt, especially as the Gulf country is the largest Arab country investing in the country, with 103 Emirati companies operating in the Egyptian market in various areas, such as wholesale and retail trade, transportation, storage, logistics, financial solutions, insurance activities, communications, information technology, real estate, tourism, construction, agriculture and food security.
The minister expounded Egypt's efforts to develop resilient food supply chains and enhance the ability to withstand external shocks caused by the Russian-Ukrainian war and the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic, through expanding food security projects and programs, including the Nexus of Water, Food and Energy (NWFE) Program, which focuses on the sectors of water, food and energy.
The minister stated the NWFE program serves as a tool for mobilizing climate investments and reinforcing concessional development financing mechanisms, in addition to enhancing partnerships between relevant parties to support climate action in Egypt.
She also reviewed the government's efforts to back small farmers in the Upper Egypt, promote agricultural and rural development through the use of renewable energy sources, and enhance South-South cooperation via the Luxor Innovation Center.
Mashat pointed out that the strategic partnership framework with the United Nations (UN) for 2023-2027 was finalized, as it outlines aspects of cooperation between the two sides in all domains, including the preservation of natural resources, agricultural and rural development and food security.
The Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Rania el-Mashat met with President of the International Fund of Agricultural Development (IFAD) Alvaro Lario, where Mashat said the Egyptian government seeks to bolster joint cooperation to enhance the agricultural sector's sustainability in Egypt to be able to adapt to climate change and mitigate its impact on small farmers.
The Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Rania el-Mashat met with Founder and Chairman of Burjeel Holdings Shamsheer Vayalil, where they discussed opportunities for joint cooperation in the Universal Health Insurance System (UHIS).
Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala el-Said met with Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal bin Fadhil Alibrahim to discuss ways of boosting bilateral cooperation on the sideline of her participation in the 53rd World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.
She lauded strong ties binding the two countries, asserting Egypt's keenness on promoting Egypt-Saudi ties in the various domains.
The two sides tackled the importance of exchanging expertise in a number of fields, along with strengthening bilateral cooperation, especially amid the current economic crisis gripping the world.
Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala el-Said met with President of Adani Foundation Gautam Adani to discuss means of fostering cooperation and investment in various fields in Egypt within their participation in the World Economic Forum.
They also discussed investment opportunities in various sectors in Egypt especially the green energy and ports projects.
The meeting also tackled partnership opportunities in the Sovereign Fund of Egypt.
El-Said asserted that Egypt is working on developing all the Egyptian ports after directives of the political leadership in order to make Egypt an international hub for trade and logistics.
Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala el Saeed met with Jörg Kukies, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance to discuss ways of cooperation in the fields of economy, infrastructure, energy and green hydrogen.
The meeting also discussed ways of exchanging visions about global economic conditions, as well as ways to support tourism in Egypt.
Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, participated in five panel discussions along with several high-level representatives of governments, development partners and the private sector, to discuss ways to develop sustainable and resilient infrastructure, as well as the importance of resilience in supporting countries' ability to withstand climate changes, in addition to the shift towards Clean Energy and Climate Action.
She also participated in the advisory board meeting of the Center for New Economy and Society of the World Economic Forum.
Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala el-Said had talks with Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, on the fringe of the 53rd World Economic Forum in Davos.
During the meeting, Hala el-Said reviewed the ministry's efforts, topped by the initiatives launched as well as the ministry's role in preparing sustainable development plans for long, medium, and short terms.
She highlighted the efforts exerted by the ministry in formulating Egypt Vision 2030 as well as following up the presidential initiative Decent Life.
She also underscored the ministry's contribution to the national initiative for smart green projects.The talks also tackled means of cooperation with the Davos Forum in alliances and workshops.
Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala el-Said met with Executive Vice President of Goldman Sachs Group Inc John Rogers and the group’s global head of sustainability and inclusive growth Dina Powell to discuss ways of cooperation between the two sides.
The minister briefed the two officials on Egypt’s efforts to create an environment that attracts domestic and foreign private investments, support the business environment, and strengthen the private sector’s role as one of the main axes of Egypt’s National Structural Reform Program (NSRP).
She also pointed out to the role played by the Sovereign Fund of Egypt in developing projects of renewable energy, green hydrogen and green infrastructure.
She noted that the transition to green economy has become necessary to confront unprecedented global challenges in recent times, especially those related to climate change.
In this regard, she pointed out that the Egyptian State attaches paramount importance to climate change issues in light of its efforts to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development.The meeting also touched on the current global conditions that have affected all countries across the world, geopolitical crises, economic changes, and the repercussions of Covid-19.
International Cooperation Minister Rania el-Mashat met with Senior Minister of Singapore Tharman Shanmugaratnam - who is also Adviser to the Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and President of the country's Monetary Authority - to discuss mechanisms to enhance bilateral cooperation in the various spheres.
The meeting was held as part of measures taken to maximize the private sector's contribution to the comprehensive and sustainable development process.
During the meeting, Mashat affirmed that the Egyptian government is keen on enhancing the participation of the private sector in the various spheres.
The minister asserted that there are promising investment prospects between the two countries, especially in the digital transformation, sustainable development and vocational training, added the minister.
The two sides also discussed the challenges besetting the global economy and ways of confronting them.
International Cooperation Minister Rania el Mashat also met with UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell to discuss the existing partnerships between the Egyptian government and the UN children's organization to promote sustainable development.
She also met the Nigerian minister of international cooperation.
Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala el-Said participated in a session entitled “Between Liquidity and Fragility: Reforming in MENA”, on the fringes of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023 in Davos.
The minister stated that there is an urgent need to deepen cooperation among countries as well as between the public and private sectors. Such cooperation would provide enhanced adaptability and resilience to future shocks.
She pointed out to the challenges being experienced by the entire world and the unprecedented state of uncertainty that prevails.
The repercussions of these challenges on emerging countries will be more severe, Saeed said, noting that frequent shocks to the global economy have constrained the ability of emerging countries to take the necessary measures to limit the effects of these challenges on their economies and societies.
The minister added that shocks have also constrained the follow-up of development agendas as well as continued progress towards addressing key issues.
She noted that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is highly vulnerable to rising inflation coupled with global recession.
The minister said Egypt is facing some difficulties, specifically the foreign exchange crisis and high levels of inflation, yet the country with its abundant resources, heritage and talents is still positioning itself as a promising investment and tourism destination.
In this regard, she noted that Egypt offers unique competitive advantages for investors.
Minister of International Cooperation Rania el Mashat met with President of the EIB Werner Hoyer on the sidelines of Davos Forum 2023.
Mashat praised efforts exerted by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to help shore up the private sector’s role in the national development process, citing its provision of 15 million euros to the Bank of Alexandria and 500 million euros to the National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr in 2022 to encourage them to offer easy loans for the private sector and small and medium enterprises.
She pointed out to the cooperation between her ministry and the EIB in 2022 to boost development efforts and meet the priorities of the national development process, topped by participating in the Nexus of Water, Food and Energy (NWFE) Program.
She clarified that the joint efforts exerted with the bank run in line with the vision of the state to implement the national strategy for climate change 2050 and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), adding that the EIB contributed to implementing the project of substituting conventional power plants with others that rely on renewables to generate electricity so as to assist in the nation’s clean energy transition.Both sides discussed joint future projects in the fields of sustainable green industries, boosting food security, capacity building and technical support.
At the end of her Participation in Davos Forum 2023, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, participated in a discussion session, moderated by Mina Orabi, on how to stimulate development financing, and explore a new framework for multilateral cooperation in order to bridge the development financing gap and stimulate private investment, along with Professor Nicholas Stern, Chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, Mr. Masood Ahmed, President of the Center for Global Development, and Ms. Sherry Rehman, Federal Minister for Climate Change, Pakistan.
In her speech, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, said that the world is going through unprecedented challenges that require immediate action at the level of strengthening multilateral cooperation to overcome these challenges and reach effective solutions to preserve development gains and accelerate progress towards implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals .
She pointed out the need to mobilize financing to implement the global development agenda, and to bridge the financing gap, which was recording about $3.9 trillion in 2020 and is exacerbated greatly by the repercussions of the Corona pandemic and the successive challenges facing the world.