Egypt and the Netherlands tackle areas of development cooperation

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Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat met Han-Maurits Schaapveld, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Cairo, on Tuesday to discuss expanding and strengthening bilateral cooperation.

The meeting also saw the participation of Marjolein Jongman, Head of Economic Affairs and Development Cooperation (HEOS) at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Egypt; and Jean-Louis Martens, deputy head of the economic service of the embassy.

This is part of the periodic meetings convened by Al-Mashat with multilateral and bilateral development partners to discuss the expansion and strengthening of international cooperation and, therefore, to push the boundaries of Vision 2030 of the ‘Egypt through development finance agreements; and accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

During the meeting, the Minister of International Cooperation and the Ambassador of the Netherlands in Cairo discussed aspects of international cooperation and development finance between the two countries, which will foster common frameworks for sustainable development. Discussions also addressed cooperation frameworks in areas relating to women’s empowerment, family planning and the fight against illegal immigration.

The meeting highlighted the partnership between the Embassy of the Netherlands and the main private sector partner: Bank of Alexandria. This initiative, launched through the entrepreneurial program of the Ministry of International Cooperation “Orange Corners Egypt”, aims to provide training, communication networks and facilities for entrepreneurs to start and develop their innovative businesses. The initiative includes two business incubation programs; one in Cairo and the other in Upper Egypt (Assiout). Each program offers 6-month training courses, offered on a recurring basis, for 15 to 25 entrepreneurs at a time.

The Minister of International Cooperation explained that the ministry has developed a three-pillar economic diplomacy framework, consisting of: multi-stakeholder platforms (MSPs), ODA-SDG mapping and global partnerships narrative.

Likewise, Al-Mashat pointed out that ODA-SDG mapping tracks national achievements achieved through international partnerships; provides the data needed to make informed decisions about future partnerships; as well as the promotion of the principles of transparency and governance for effective development cooperation.

Al-Mashat also mentioned the launch of his book “Stakeholder Engagement through Economic Diplomacy”; document Egypt’s experience in international cooperation and development finance; and create a model for other emerging and developing countries seeking to strengthen regional and international cooperation.

For his part, the Ambassador of the Netherlands in Cairo praised the common relations between the two countries since the 1960s, which have supported development projects in many sectors, including agriculture, irrigation, industry, health, housing, transport, electricity, supply, education and development and public services. Schaapveld noted that the Netherlands has supported several projects implemented by the World Food Program (WFP), in cooperation with the national authorities of Upper Egypt; adding that continued efforts have been made to support the private sector in Egypt in collaboration with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

It should be mentioned that Egypt and the Netherlands have maintained joint economic cooperation relations through technical and financial agreements since 1975. The cooperation portfolio between the two parties amounts to 348 million euros. to finance projects in several sectors, including agriculture, irrigation, industry, and health.




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