"Cross-border cooperation will help achieve development and job creation": Minister of Investment and International Cooperation of Egypt
H.E. Dr. Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation of Egypt, has highlighted the importance of the ENI CBC Med Programme in view of the country’s main development priorities – women and youth empowerment, job creation and private sector development – during a conference in Cairo on 10-11 April 2017.
The ENI CBC Med Programme took part in MEDAFINANCE, the 4th Euro-Mediterranean Conference on Donor Funding, Banking and Novel Financial Instruments. The conference, held in Cairo on 10-11 April 2017, was opened Dr. Sahar Nasr, Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Mr. Christian Danielsson, European Commission’s General Director for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), Eng. Tarek Qabil, Minister of Trade and Industry, and Mr. Ahmed Al-Wakil, Head of the Egyptian Chambers of Commerce Federation.
During her opening speech, Dr. Nasr said that "Egypt is currently focusing on projects that will help achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth. We are really after jobs, that’s critical especially for youth and women. Hence our priority areas are improving the business environment, promoting investments and supporting the development of SMEs."
In this context, the Minister highlighted how cross-border cooperation "can really contribute to the development of the 9 Egyptian governorates involved in the ENI CBC Med Programme, especially for youth and overall women’s empowerment."
Concerning the signing of the Financing Agreement, crucial step for the participation of Egyptian organizations in the call for proposals, Dr. Nasr said: "We have done our job. We are ready for the first call for proposals. Now, we are waiting for the feedback of the European Commission."
Minister Nasr concluded her speech by calling on "the Euro-Mediterranean countries to cooperate with Egypt in achieving development and combating terrorism. Creating jobs for young people will prevent them from going into extremism."
Mr. Christian Danielsson, General Director of European Commission’s DG NEAR, emphasized the crucial role of the private sector for prosperity and stability in the Mediterranean region: "The past years have seen profound changes accompanied by economic challenges. But one thing has not changed: trade, investment and a vibrant private sector remain key issues for stability, growth, job creation and regional cooperation in the MENA region and across the Mediterranean."
Mr. Danielsson added: "It is for this reason that the EU invests heavily in building the capacity of our regional partners to develop and implement policies that foster private sector development."
He reasserted the support of the European Union to Egypt by announcing the signing a comprehensive €10 million package for advance women’s rights.
Finally, the main achievements of the ENPI CBC Med Programme and coming cooperation funding opportunities in the framework of the first ENI CBC Med call for proposals were presented during a roundtable which gathered several donors, including USAID, Italian Cooperation, UNIDO, the EU Delegation to Egypt and the Japan External Trade Organization. "The new Programme has put job creation, support to start-up development, women’s entrepreneurship, innovation and technological transfer at its very heart," said Mr. Luca Palazzo from the Managing Authority. "The first call for proposals, worth €84.6 million, will be a unique opportunity for Euro-Mediterranean actors to design and implement together projects that contribute to a positive and inclusive business environment in the Mediterranean region," he added.