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Discussions with the International Islamic Foundation on increasing cooperation between Egypt and the Foundation

Dr. Hala Al-Saeed, Minister of Planning and Economic Development and Governor of Egypt at the Islamic Development Bank Group, received; Engineer Hani Sonbol, CEO of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation - an institution of the Islamic Development Bank - to discuss the position of issues of cooperation between Egypt and the institution.


At the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Hala Al-Saeed affirmed Egypt's readiness to host the next annual meeting of the Bank Group's Board of Governors, which includes holding the annual meetings of member institutions, noting Egypt's keenness for the appearance of the meetings in an honorable manner befitting the Islamic Bank Group and member states, as it is an important opportunity to enhance the existing areas of cooperation between the two sides. .


On the most prominent developments regarding the existing areas of cooperation; Al-Saeed indicated that Egypt will host the third meeting of the Governance Board of the Arab-African Trade Bridges Program next December, stressing Egypt's welcome to assume the presidency of the Program's Governance Board exceptionally for the remainder of 2021.


Al-Saeed also discussed the proposal to establish the first export academy in Egypt within the framework of the second phase of the Aid for Trade Program for Arab Countries (AFTIAS), in the context of Egypt's keenness to contribute effectively to the second phase of the program by participating in various projects that serve member states, noting A comprehensive vision of the Academy’s mission, vision, objectives and affiliation has already been received from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and it is already being studied by the concerned Ministry of Planning and Economic Development to make comments and discuss it to finalize its formulation in preparation for presentation during the first meeting of the technical committee to examine the projects that will be formed under Resolution issued by the Program Board of Directors to be held on October 27 and 28, 2021.


The Minister of Planning continued that the objectives of the establishment of the Export Academy are to ensure the sustainable growth of Egyptian exports by providing access to markets with promising export opportunities, encouraging the shift towards exports with high added value, and expanding the base of exporters to include small and medium enterprises, in addition to simplifying procedures and creating a business environment. To serve exporters, this comes within the framework of the presidential directive, which stresses that Egyptian exports will reach $100 billion over the next five years.


Dr. Hala Al-Saeed added that the strategic goal of establishing the academy is to establish a unified national entity concerned with training exporters and providing export advisory services in Egypt, so that the academy will be a national subordination, with the possibility of expanding its activities in the future to include regional departments and provide training and advisory services at the regional and international levels, noting The proposal to establish the academy will include the dimension of promoting and encouraging virtual interactive practices in the Egyptian export system, as it comes within the framework of the proposal to create an electronic application to facilitate the training system and provide export advisory services, in line with the state's direction of digital transformation, which is also consistent with the institution's continuous endeavor to support capabilities of member states in this field. She also confirmed that the Academy's services and support for small and medium enterprises will necessarily be integrated with the Foundation's efforts to support initiatives to expand financing for local banks in Egypt to support small and medium companies.


During the meeting, Dr. Hala Al-Saeed discussed the proposal to establish an export business accelerator within the framework of the Arab-African Trade Bridges Program with the aim of supporting and promoting export activity through e-commerce, and thus achieving economic development and creating decent and productive job opportunities in the region, noting the establishment of the Rowad 2030 Project of the Ministry Planning to prepare a preliminary concept for the accelerator project, which is being studied in coordination with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and its affiliated bodies.


The Minister of Planning said that the export accelerator aims to provide a variety of supportive services to emerging companies in the field of e-commerce, including providing specialized training and qualification programs, which include qualifying emerging companies and training them on different methods to build and develop a distinguished product for export abroad, and how to build the product's brand. In addition to the mechanisms of building and developing the online store and qualifying it for sale around the world, methods of marketing products through social networks, and other services, including holding mentorship and guidance sessions in cooperation with business founders, other companies, and some specialized technical companies.


Al-Saeed confirmed the integration of the accelerator project with initiatives to support e-commerce and enhance the export orientation in the region, as it is planned that the export business accelerator will receive entrepreneurs graduating from the Egyptian-African Business Incubator of the Ministry of Planning (Start-up Africa), in addition to receiving entrepreneurs from neighboring countries. Arab and African. She also indicated the integration of all projects with the existing cooperation activities between the Corporation and the various Egyptian bodies to digitize shipping documents and documentary credits through the launch of interactive electronic platforms for this purpose, in line also with the efforts of the Egyptian state in implementing the customs system for pre-registration of shipments “ACI” to be applied in ports. Egypt during the last quarter of this year.

With regard to the new prospects of cooperation between Egypt and the Foundation; Dr. Hala Al-Saeed pointed to the possibility of the Foundation’s contribution to some projects within the framework of the economic empowerment dimension of the national project for the development of the Egyptian family, especially the aspect related to women’s development, as this dimension aims to enable women in the age group from 18 to 45 years to contribute to the labor force and achieve independence Financial, which is targeted to be done through implementing one million micro-projects, owning productive assets and providing non-financial services to women in the target age group, training one million women in entrepreneurship skills and enhancing their financial literacy. In addition to training 2 million women of the same age group on project management methods and mechanisms, digital literacy for them and other activities with the aim of qualifying them to contribute to the labor market in accordance with the investment opportunities available in each governorate.


Al-Saeed added that the project includes an activity aimed at equipping and operating 200 sewing workshops in family health and development units, by providing production training on the line of medical textiles in order to meet the needs of hospitals and health facilities.

For his part, Engineer Hani Sonbol, CEO of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, said that this meeting comes with the aim of following up on the agreements that were made during the meetings of the Islamic Development Bank group in Uzbekistan early this month, in addition to forming working groups from the Corporation and the Ministry of Planning to prepare for the meeting of the Governance Council of End Bridges This year, and laying out the features of the country program implemented by the Foundation with the Egyptian partner ministries.