Egypt's Minister of Planning meets WB delegation to discuss future cooperation plan
The Minister of Planning and Economic Development H.E. Dr. Hala El-Said met recently with a delegation from the World Bank headed by the Regional Director for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region Nadir Mohammed to discuss the possible support to the Egyptian government in light of the new country cooperation 2023-2027, and the priorities of the government.
The meeting witnessed the presence of Deputy Minister of Planning and Economic Development Dr. Ahmed Kamali, Economic Advisor to the Minister Dr. Nada Masoud (virtually), Head of the Planning and Economic Development Unit at the Ministry Dr. Riham Rizk, and Economic Expert at the World Bank Dr. Imane Helmy.
During the meeting, the Minister of Planning and Economic Development Dr. Hala El-Said stressed the upcoming Country Partnership Framework 2023-2027 (CPF) under the sustainable development agenda, Egypt Vision 2030, and the National Climate Change Strategy (NCCS) 2050.
She also clarified that this framework between the ministry and the World Bank represents the new phase of developmental cooperation and the mutual support of the deployed efforts for integrated sustainable development along with its reliance on national goals and the Egypt Vision 2030 and the presidential initiatives.
El-Said explained that more effort will be deployed over the coming 5 years to motivate private sector participation in development projects. This will increase employment, support investments in human capital, and consolidate the work environment through multiple partnerships with the World Bank Group.
The private sector must also play a decisive role in supporting a sustainable green economy that will endure and persevere in the country's partnership, El-Said said. This indicates that private sector growth leads to more and better employment opportunities reflecting better quality
She also explained that this framework aims to achieve its goals by achieving three high-level results representing the increase and amelioration of job opportunities in the private sector by creating an enabling environment for investment and job opportunities led by the private sector, along with creating equal opportunities.
Moreover, El-Said added that the three results included supporting human capital by providing comprehensive healthcare and educational services, effective social protection programs, improving the ability to face shocks by supporting macroeconomic management, and measures for climate change adjustment and cushioning its effects.
During her speech, El-Said addressed the Upper Egypt Local Development Program, clarifying that the continuous cooperation between the World Bank and the Egyptian government in the Upper Egypt Local Development Programs helped in supporting the government’s ability to provide quality infrastructure and services and improving the environment for the development of the private sector. Moreover, she pointed out the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development’s participation in the last World Bank meeting last February which focused on “competitiveness.”
Additionally, El-Said addressed Egypt hosting the climate conference COP-27, clarifying that the conference had placed Egypt at the heart of sustainability leaders, achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and the behavior and procedures of sustainability.
El-Said indicated the launch of the “Environmental Sustainability Standards Guide” launched by the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development in Cooperation with the Ministry of Environment that aims to turn the budget and the investment plan green and targets 50% of green projects by fiscal year 2024/25.
Egypt is the first country in the MENA region to launch green bonds worth $750 billion, according to El-Said.
Furthermore, she announced that the Egyptian private sector is preparing to launch “private green bonds” valued at around $120-200 million.
Dr. Hala El-Said praised the Egyptian government's effort to update its sustainable development strategy, Egypt Vision 2030, which will be launched soon, to incorporate the new rising challenges including population growth, climate change, water scarcity, and regional geopolitical changes.
El-Said addressed NCCS 2050 contributing to the unification of all aspects of climate change in one document.
Regarding the National Green and Smart Projects Initiative, El-Said demonstrated that it was launched in August of 2022, under the patronage of President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi, and under the supervision of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development as an unprecedented pioneering development initiative to make a shift in the mechanisms of mending climate change and its effects on all Egyptian governorates, which is in great accordance with the sustainable development agenda; Egypt Vision 2030.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ahmed Kamali tackled many topics, including updating Egypt Vision 2030 and localizing sustainable development goals. He, further, pointed out that 7 enablers would accelerate the achievement of the goals of Egypt Vision 2030 including funding, achieving technological advancements and innovation, supporting digitization, producing data and making it available, creating a supportive legislative and institutional environment, along with adopting the SDGs in the principles and culture of the people, and controlling population growth.
Dr. Kamali continued to address the localization of the SDGs, clarifying that the Egypt Vision 2030 focuses on balanced sectoral and location development. This is linked to equity and justice following the “no man left behind” principle.
Moreover, he mentioned the cooperation between UN and local experts in launching 27 reports about incorporating the SDGs into all governorates. These reports include the targets of each governorate on each indicator of the UN sustainable development agenda 2030.
From her side, Dr. Nada Massoud discussed the structural reform project, explaining that the program aims to transform the trajectory of the Egyptian economy to become a productive economy based on knowledge and capable of competing in the global market to encourage inclusive growth, creating decent job opportunities, and diversifying the production patterns, improving the investment climate, the business environment, localizing industries, and increasing the competitiveness of Egyptian exports.
Massoud continued that the program is based on 6 business pillars, the principal axis addressed the restructuring of the Egyptian economy, the diversification of the productivity structure, and focuses on the sectors of the real economy where three priority production sectors, the agriculture industry, and communication and information technology sectors, will be chosen for structural reform in parallel with the service sectors and the sectors complementary sectors.
She also added that the support and complementary sectors are represented in the development of the business environment, maximizing the role of the private sector, creating flexibility in the job market and improving vocational training, financial inclusion, financing, improving the efficiency of public institutions, and expanding the application of governance.
All of this is achieved by paying attention to human capital from education to health and social protection.
Massoud outlined the state ownership document which clarifies the role of the state in different sectors as the organizer of economic activities according to the market mechanisms, how the state will exit from the activities in which the private sector will assume the largest role
Finally, Nadir Mohammed confirmed the support of the Egyptian state and the Ministry of Planning in many fields, especially economic and social policies. This includes strengthening the private sector, encouraging integrated development, and including climate dimensions in public planning.
He also expressed the World Bank's support for the sustainable development strategy and data production strengthening.
He also made it accessible to policymakers to reach evidence-based decisions.