Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, February 6, 2022 – The evolution of relations between the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Arab Republic of Egypt, the next Annual Meetings of the IDB Group in Egypt next June, the official launch of the Bank’s Regional Hub in Cairo as well development of the country’s private sector were among the main topics of discussion between HE Dr Muhammad Al Jasser, President of the Islamic Development Bank, and HE Dr Hala El-Said, Egyptian Minister of Planning and Economic Development, who is also the current Chairman of the Board of Governors of the IDB.
During the meeting, which was held at the Bank’s headquarters in Jeddah, Dr. Al Jasser commended the constructive cooperation between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Bank in various development areas and the continued development of relations between both parties, which was reflected in the size of the Bank’s portfolio in the country.
He also commended Egypt’s hosting of the upcoming Bank Group Annual Meetings and the ongoing coordination between representatives of both parties regarding the preparations for this important event. Dr. Al Jasser also thanked the government of the Arab Republic of Egypt for agreeing to subscribe to the Bank’s sixth capital increase.
For his part, Dr. El-Said affirmed his country’s willingness to further develop relations with the Bank in a way that reinforces and achieves the common objectives of both parties.
She once again commended her country’s hosting of the IDB Group’s Annual Meetings, considering this an indication of the strength of the partnership between the two parties. Dr. Hala El-Said then welcomed the establishment of the Bank’s Regional Center in Egypt, stressing that it will support the development of relations between the two parties.
She also made a presentation on the economic development that Egypt has started to achieve since 2014, noting that the state has spent significant sums in recent years, amounting to the equivalent of 400 billion US dollars. , and directed them to infrastructure such as roads, bridges, electricity, means of transport, etc.
The Minister further stated that she looked forward to cooperating with the IDB Group in the development of the private sector, and in this she referred to some important projects aimed at empowering women and providing job opportunities. youth.
Elsewhere during the meeting, IDB President Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser highlighted the economic successes Egypt has achieved in recent years and the size of the infrastructure it has achieved. He said: “At the IDB meetings in Cairo, we look forward to a partnership to come up with concrete projects for the private sector and investors to be implemented on the ground for the benefit of development. economic and social in Egypt.
He then commended Egypt’s support to the IDB Group at all stages of its development, including its commitment to the bank’s sixth capital increase. Dr. Al Jasser also highlighted the bank’s interest in developing the private sector and small and medium enterprises which create employment opportunities for a large number of citizens in the country.
During his official visit to the IDB Group headquarters in Jeddah, Dr. El-Said also met separately with the CEOs of the Bank Group to discuss his country’s relations with their institutions.
During his meeting with Eng. Hani Sonbol, CEO of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), several topics were discussed, the most important of which is the proposal to establish an export academy which will be the first of its kind in the Arab Republic of Egypt. The Minister also suggested, given the priority of the SME sector in Egypt, which needs to develop a program to qualify Egyptian women, especially business owners, to enable them to export their products.
The two parties also agreed to continue their cooperation within the framework of the Arab-African Trade Bridges Program (AATB), where the third meeting of the Board of Governors of the program will be organized and chaired by His Excellency in Cairo on March 14-15, 2022. The event is expected to see a ministerial presence from Arab and African countries and the signing of important agreements that enhance trade and investment opportunities between Arab and African regions.
In another meeting, Dr. El-Said met with Mr. Osama Al-Qaisi, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Investments and Export Credits (ICIEC), where the two sides discussed the plan of the Company and its interest in supporting exporters and securing investments for the benefit of Egypt. They also discussed the private sector forum that coincides with the Bank Group’s Annual Meetings, identifying institutions and organizations in Egypt that can benefit from the Corporation’s efforts to attract investors.
The Minister also met with Mr. Ayman Sejini, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), where they reviewed the progress made by the ICD in some of its activities in Egypt. The two parties discussed the Company’s role in supporting the Egyptian private sector and the importance given to the partnership with Egypt, which represents an important market for ICD. Dr. Hala, on the other hand, commended the efforts of the ICD in its relations with Egypt.
The total of IDB Group interventions in favor of Egypt to date amounts to 16.00 billion dollars, of which 2.20 billion dollars are projects financed by the Islamic Development Bank and 0.23 billion While $11.75 billion was provided by the ITFC in private sector financing operations, $1.82 billion was provided by other Bank Group funds and programs.
In addition, ICIEC has so far provided approximately US$7.3 billion in insurance coverage for trade operations and investments for the benefit of Egypt (including US$2.3 billion to support exports , US$2.9 billion for strategic imports, US$1.7 billion to attract foreign investment to Egypt and US$0.4 billion to support Egyptian investment in sub-Saharan Africa). Therefore, Egypt is one of the member countries that has benefited the most from the services of the Society.
Regarding the efforts of the Islamic Investment and Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ICIEC) to meet the growing demand for export credit and investment credit insurance in the Egyptian market, the Corporation has prepared a strategic expansion plan in the Egyptian market.
The plan is based on several pillars, including providing insurance support for infrastructure projects in the Egyptian market and providing insurance support to the Egyptian government to insure its strategic assets. This is in addition to supporting Egyptian relations with the African market and encouraging the flow of foreign direct investment to the Egyptian market, in addition to developing relations with Egyptian banks in the area of trade finance.
In the area of trade finance by ITFC, the company has helped to strengthen trade finance in the Arab Republic of Egypt by supporting imports of crude oil, petroleum derivatives, foodstuffs and other products. Egypt is also one of the member countries that has benefited the most from ITFC funding. In the field of trade development, since its inception, the Company has implemented numerous technical assistance programs and projects related to foreign trade and institutional support in the Republic of Egypt within the framework of major programs and integrated trade solutions that she provides.
In this context, the Republic of Egypt has joined the Arab-African Trade Bridges Program (AATB) and the Arab Countries Assistance Trade Initiative (AFTIAS) Program to benefit from the projects that are approved under their umbrellas. ITFC also works to support Egyptian women in global trade through the “She Trades” project, which has been implemented since 2020 under the supervision of the Company and co-financed by the AFTIAS program and the Islamic Development Bank.
In the area of scholarships, this year, 14 Egyptian students have benefited from the programs offered by the Bank, and the number of Egyptian students who have benefited from the Bank’s scholarship program to date has reached 107 (33 for Ph.D., 22 for post-doctoral research, 11 for master’s degrees and 41 for undergraduate degrees), where the majority of graduate students were sent to European and American universities.
Egyptian universities also hosted 48 Bank students for scholarships in several Egyptian universities (29 male and female students) from member countries, and Muslim communities around the world (19 male and female students). The IDB Scholarships Department has also launched an initiative to sign a scholarship agreement between the Bank and the Ministry of Higher Education in Egypt, in cooperation with the Bank’s Regional Center in Cairo. .
In the area of supporting women’s empowerment, and in consultation between the Islamic Development Bank, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Government of Egypt, the Bank has agreed to appoint a consultant in the area Human Resource Development to assist the OIC Women Development Organization hosted by Egypt in building the human resource system.
In addition, the Bank approved a technical assistance project for institutional support to the organization with a grant of $150,000. The Institute of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDBI) supports capacity building and economic empowerment of women by organizing training in the field of financial inclusion in Egypt.
In the area of private sector support, the IDB Group, through the DCI, has pursued a two-pronged strategy:
- Direct investments in major projects, such as the establishment of the Eastern Sugar Project.
- Investing in local funds, leasing companies and Islamic banks, where the Foundation established the company Enmaa Leasing, which finances various types of assets for large companies and small and medium enterprises.
In the area of public-private partnership (PPP) support, the IDB Group has provided a total of US$99 million to fund solar fields for power generation and implementation through of private companies.