CAIRO - 2 June 2021: The Minister of International Cooperation Rania A. Al-Mashat will be attending the 24th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, from June 2 to June 5 to participate in bilateral meetings, plenary sessions and high-level discussions.
For the last 24 years, the SPIEF, held since 1997 and 2006, has been a leading global platform for the business community to discuss economic challenges faced by emerging markets, and other countries. This year, SPIEF is bringing together government representatives, heads of state, business leaders, and the creative community to create a dialogue around the way forward, and to formulate common objectives under the central theme “A Collective Reckoning of the New Global Economic Reality.”
As a keynote speaker, Al-Mashat will be taking part in a panel discussion titled “World Fairs and International Cooperation as a Driver of Sustainable Global Development” to discuss globalization, technology, and Egypt’s progress in sustainable development. Last year, Egypt was singled out and celebrated for its sound policy choices and partnerships that supported economic growth, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In accordance with the theme posed by SPIEF that emphasizes a new global economic reality, the world order has shifted to embrace global cooperation and multilateralism.
In another panel on Russian-African relations, Al-Mashat will discuss business opportunities, economic partnerships, trade, and cooperation strategies in Africa. Held in October 2019 in Sochi, Russia, the first Russian-African Summit and Economic Forum was co-chaired by the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, acting chair of the African Union at the time.
The forum aided in developing economic investment and trade relations between Russia and Africa, allowing for diversified opportunities in Russian-African cooperation. The Egyptian cooperation Africa includes various sectors such as transportation, water, irrigation, construction, electricity, and energy.
On the sidelines of the forum, Al-Mashat will also be holding bilateral meetings with the Russian Minister of Economic Development, Maxim Reshetnikov; and with the Russian Minister of Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov; alongside Sergey Stolyarov, CEO Russian Railways International (RZD); and Sergey Pavlov, First deputy CEO JSC Russian Railways. These meetings aim to strengthen bilateral relations between Egypt and Russia on several fronts, including trade and investment.
A comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation agreement was signed between Egypt and Russia in October 2018, and entered into force in January 2021.
Egypt and Russia share a portfolio of bilateral cooperation that includes tourism, culture, electricity, energy and petroleum; including various projects such as the Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant project. In the transportation sector, Russia supported Egypt by supplying and manufacturing over a thousand railway vehicles. The two countries also signed a 50-year agreement that establishes a Russian Industrial Zone in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, attracting over $7 billion of investment and creating 35,000 jobs. In trade, Egypt is Russia’s top partner in Africa holding 83% of its African trade volume and 33% of its overall trade volume with Arab countries.
This year’s SPIEF taps on several areas such as international partnerships to advance national development targets, and to capitalize on new technologies in response to global challenges. The SPIEF aims to start strategic conversations where countries can learn from one another, fostering global economic growth and stability in emerging markets.
Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation puts inclusive and impactful development at core of its sustainable development targets. Through cooperation with International Financial Institutions (IFIs), Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), development partners, private sector, and civil society, Egypt is navigating the roadmap to a sustainable future.
This is reflected in the Ministry’s three principles of Economic Diplomacy: holding Multi-Stakeholder Platforms to bring all relevant entities onto the same decision making table; developing the first of its kind Official Development Assistance mapping to the UN SDG to track progress in development projects aligned with the sustainability goals; and communicating through a consistent Global Partnerships Narrative that puts “People at the Core”, “Projects in Action”, and “Purpose as the Driver”.