The Minister of Planning and Economic Development inaugurates International Conference on Alternative Financing Opportunities in Egypt
23 May 2022
H.E. Dr. Hala El-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, inaugurated the activities of the "International Conference on Alternative Financing Opportunities in Egypt: Towards Sustainable Financing for Development", held in cooperation between the Ministries of Planning and Economic and Financial Development and the Macroeconomic Reform and Stability Project funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
The conference witnessed the presence of Dr. Mohamed Maait, Minister of Finance, Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations on Financing for Sustainable Development, and Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund "via video conference", Chargé d'Affaires of the US Embassy in Cairo Nicole Champagne, Gareth Davies, President MESR, some ambassadors, and representatives of societal and international organizations.During her speech, El-Said affirmed the constant keenness on the partnership approach adopted by the Egyptian state in its efforts to achieve sustainable development and its financing, with representatives of all development partners from the private sector, civil society, and international and regional organizations.
El-Said added that the requirements of the state of uncertainty that the world is currently going through in light of the continued recovery from the Corona pandemic and the economic effects of sustainable recovery due to the severity of the tensions of the geopolitical crisis in Ukraine, which negatively affected the gains of recovery, dictate the imperative of dealing with the main problem that stands in the way to achieve the 2030 Agenda: the sustainable financing of the Sustainable Development Goals.
El-Said pointed to the depth of the financing gap for the sustainable development goals in developing countries, which ranges from $ 3.3 to 7 trillion annually, adding that about $2.5 trillion were added to them in 2020 as a result of the repercussions of the Corona pandemic, which negatively affects the achievement of comprehensive and sustainable development.
El-Said added that the emerging economies, including Egypt, have disproportionately great challenges to control the conditions of financial spending and at the same time provide the necessary financing to implement public investments in line with the growing population needs and development requirements that have become more urgent, especially in the pursuit of achieving the 2030 Agenda.El-Said stressed that the Egyptian state views the issue of financing for development as one of the most important determinants of the countries' ability to move forward in implementing sustainable development programs and projects.
El-Said clarified that the most important thing that unites plans and programs to achieve development, whether in the international framework or the national and regional frameworks, is its need to provide funding and mobilize the necessary resources, and this is linked to its urgent need for an effective partnership between the government, the private sector, civil society, and financial institutions to provide the increasing financing needs.
El-Said indicated the Egyptian state's keenness to achieve the link between its annual investment plan, the 17 UN goals, and Egypt's Vision 2030; to assess and analyze the volume of investments directed to achieving international goals, the resulting discovery of new investment opportunities, and raising the efficiency of directing investments following the priorities imposed by the current rapid changes.El-Said pointed to the launch of the "Financing for Sustainable Development in Egypt" report so that Egypt was a pioneer in launching this report, which represents the first national report of its kind in the world on financing for development, which was drafted under the supervision of Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, and a distinguished elite of experts and researchers in the fields of economy finance and development.
El-Said added that the report contributes to shedding light on the efforts of the Egyptian state in mobilizing financial resources and its ability to diversify the financing of sustainable development projects in recent years by adopting many different financing mechanisms and programs, as well as offering financing alternatives and innovative solutions for the financing development.
El-Said referred to the launch of green bonds, sustainable development bonds, blended finance, as well as climate finance, and impact investment.
El-Said explained that the importance of the report comes from the knowledge it provides of the different dimensions of the issue of financing for development, and the proposed treatments it provides for objectively dealing with the issue of the financing challenge.El-Said added that the report presented findings and recommendations related to alternative and sustainable financing opportunities in Egypt, noting the most prominent of these results, which are the central role of the state’s general budget within the framework of macroeconomic stability to activate the integrated national financing framework, in addition to pushing public and private investments related to human and material capital as well as resilience and sustainability.El-Said pointed to the importance of working to enhance the competitiveness of the labor market, increase its productivity, and develop the professional and technical labor market, in addition to the issue of greening the economy and setting up incentives for green projects to increase this component.El-Said also touched on the signing by the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development in March 2021 with the Office of the Resident Representative of the United Nations, a project on the “Strategy for Financing the Sustainable Development Goals in Egypt” funded by the Sustainable Development Goals Fund, believing in the important role played by international organizations in the issue of financing for development.El-Said added that within the framework of this project, the ministry is paying special attention to studying the cost estimation of implementing the UN goals in Egypt in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP): intending to determine the costs of national development plans and the associated sustainable development goals in a gender-responsive framework that takes the environmental dimension in consideration.
El-Said also stressed the Egyptian state's keenness over the past years to improve public investment management and raise spending efficiency in a way that maximizes the use of available resources by expanding the application of "plans and budgets for programs and performance" and setting legislative and institutional frameworks that guarantee the success of the experiment.El-Said also indicated that the state has adopted several innovative mechanisms to finance development in Egypt, by creating a "financing equation" to ensure a fair distribution of public investments at the governorate level, taking into account the treatment of development gaps between Egyptian governorates.El-Said talked about the launch of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development's "Guide to a Gender Responsive Sustainable Development Plan," which reflects the critical importance the state attaches to empowering social groups at all levels, in line with Egypt's Vision 2030.