”Cementing China-Egypt Development and Cooperation with the Focus on Global Development Initiative”
Seminar hosted by China NGO Network for International Exchanges (CNIE) and the Secretariat of Silk Road NGO Cooperation Network (SIRONET), on June 9th ,2022
”Cementing China-Egypt Development and Cooperation with the Focus on Global Development Initiative”.
Speech of Dr. Ezzat Saad .
Director of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs (ECFA)
Colleagues and friends,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On Behalf of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, it is my pleasure to be speaking to you about our topic today “Cementing China-Egypt Development and Cooperation with the Focus on Global Development Initiative.
The Global Development Initiative comes at a critical time. Today, the global economy faces a confluence of disruptive events that have caused great economic instability and has eroded years of economic growth, the COVID-19 Pandemic along with the repercussions of the current war between Russia and Ukraine have exacerbated existing issues such as poverty, food security and displacement. It is estimated by the World Bank that 711 million people are now living in poverty and three to four years of progress toward ending extreme poverty are estimated to have been lost. Extreme poverty in low-income countries has increased significantly, setting back progress by eight to nine years, while progress in upper-middle income countries has been set back by five to six years. This has not been isolated in specific geographic regions, but these negative developments have been felt across all-regions particularly in developing and emerging economies. This has also been made worse by increasing geo-political tensions which have restricted trade and caused increased protectionism, which further threatens progress made by developing nations in opening their markets, adapting market-based reform and embracing globalization.
Multilateral and multistakeholder consultations and solutions are integral to identify bottlenecks and issues that are currently impeding the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, and other common global challenges such as equitable vaccine access, green development, the management of natural resources and the transition to climate friendly green and renewable energy. There is a dire need to make green technologies affordable and accessible to the world. The Global Development Initiative is therefore crucial amongst developing countries to ensure that efforts are coordinated to promote inclusive economic growth in the aftermath of these compounded crises. It is within this context that the Global Development Initiative is designed to play a crucial role towards guiding global development to become a more comprehensive, coordinated and balanced process to implement existing initiatives and commitments within the framework of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. This includes strengthened policy coordination amongst major economies to ensure policy continuity and consistency. There is a clear need to increase global efforts to ensure cooperation regarding several crucial issues such as green development, combatting climate change, expediting poverty alleviation and increasing inter-connectivity amongst countries. According to the Global Infrastructure Hub estimates, the world will facing a USD 15 trillion gap between projected investment and the amount needed to provide adequate global infrastructure by 2040. Such infrastructure within countries or trade-enabling infrastructure is crucial to ensure increased trade between different countries and regions of the world to stimulate economic growth and enhance the post-pandemic recovery.
Egypt and China have a long history of cooperating not only bilaterally but also within multilateral foras and institutions such as the United Nations amongst others. Additionally, there has been progress in the establishment of new international financial institutions that have learned from the experiences of previous legacy institutions and reflect the interests and increasing economic clout of developing countries, both Egypt and China were founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Egypt has recently joined the New Development Bank as a new member. It is important to note that these new organizations are not intended to compete with existing institutions, but rather complement them and ensure that developing countries are given a larger role to play given the larger role those Emerging economies are playing on the world stage at the moment.
In conclusion, it must be emphasized that international cooperation, expertise exchange and benefiting from the experiences of others – especially the Chinese experience in the field of development and poverty alleviation – remain necessary conditions for addressing the obstacles and challenges facing developing countries in this regard.