CAIRO: Egyptian Minister for International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat met with Japanese Ambassador to Egypt Oka Hiroshi to discuss the development of joint relations and future cooperation opportunities between the two countries.
Hideki Matsunaga, Director General of the Middle East and Europe Department of the Japan International Cooperation Agency; Kenichiro Kitamura, Senior Representative of the Dubai Office of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation; and Toyokazu Fukuyama, executive director of the Cairo office of the Japan External Trade Organization, also participated in the talks.
Al-Mashat stressed the importance of high-level political dialogue between the Egyptian and Japanese sides, an important goal for the Ministry of International Cooperation that must be followed by all multilateral and bilateral development partners.
She stressed the importance of the participation of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Japan External Trade Organization in political dialogue, as the volume of trade and investment between the two countries is a good indicator of strong relations. .
“We look forward to rapprochement and joint action to overcome all challenges,” she said.
Al-Mashat stressed the importance of coordination with the private sector in both countries to increase its role in joint Egyptian-Japanese relations and to enhance its participation in development efforts.
She highlighted the convening of the second Egypt-International Cooperation Forum next September, which will see the meeting of African environment and finance ministers to discuss common visions.
Hiroshi said Japan will continue to support sustainable development in Egypt based on its development needs through three priority areas: supporting sustainable economic growth; help with social inclusion; and the promotion of education, human resource development and regional cooperation.
Hiroshi said Japan’s cooperation with the Egyptian government includes: developing the quality of infrastructure; cooperation between the public and private sectors to produce clean energy; cooperation in the health sector; food and agriculture cooperation; and cooperation in education and human resource development.
“We have great opportunities to strengthen cooperation with the Egyptian government in the renewable energy sector and to promote inclusive growth and the localization of industry,” he said.
Representatives of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation gave a presentation on the organization’s joint work and efforts in Egypt. It included a presentation of the bank’s medium-term work plan in Egypt, for the period 2021-2023, which aims to support Egyptian efforts to improve infrastructure efficiency, advance the Sustainable Development Goals and localize the industry.
Fukuyama, executive director of the Cairo office of the Japan External Trade Organization, said that in addition to Japan’s official development assistance, the involvement of Japanese private companies in products and technology and direct investment in projects had contributed to Egypt’s economic growth and social development. He highlighted the role of the trade organization in attracting the interest of Japanese companies in Egypt, especially in strategic industries, through its role as a Japanese trade and investment promotion agency.
During his meeting with the delegation of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, Al-Mashat discussed important issues in the framework of cooperation between the government and the agency, and followed up on projects in the light of efforts joint development between the two countries.
Matsunaga, director of the agency’s Middle East and Europe section, praised the development efforts and what has been achieved in Egypt over the past few years, particularly in infrastructure, and the capacity of the Egyptian state to carry out these projects despite the current exceptional global circumstances.
Egypt has shown strong resilience in the face of these crises and has been able to achieve positive growth despite the impact of most countries in the region and the world by successive crises.
“Currently, Japan and Egypt are discussing future projects in the fields of electricity, technical assistance for the Suez Canal, comprehensive health insurance and the Greater Cairo Metro, in addition to promoting the ‘circular economy through single-use plastics’, according to the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation.
Cooperation between Egypt and Japan started in 1954 and the development cooperation portfolio is diverse in many sectors. The current portfolio of economic cooperation between the two countries amounts to approximately 2.8 billion dollars to implement 14 projects, particularly in the fields of health, electricity, transport, navigation, education and irrigation.