Cairo, Egypt, 4 October 2018 – The Islamic Development (IsDB) Group has signed the Host Country Agreement (HCA) for the IsDB Group’s Regional Hub in Cairo, and the Strategic Cooperation Agreement (2019-2021) with the Egyptian Government, thus initiating a new and advanced phase in the IsDB Group’s relationship with the Arab Republic of Egypt. The two Agreements were signed by H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar, Chairman of the IsDB Group and H.E. Dr. Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, at the Prime Minister's Office.

The signing of the HCA comes within the framework of the IsDB’s strategic transformation from a development Bank to a Bank for development and developers, transitioning towards decentralization, and enhancing the cooperation with development partners working in member countries. The Regional Hub in Cairo will allow the Bank to become more proactive in providing development solutions fast, deploying its financial and human resources to meet the developmental needs. Furthermore, it will  expedite the implementation of development projects in its member countries under the constituency of the Cairo Hub which, as well as Egypt, includes Sudan, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Palestine.

The Strategic Cooperation Document between Egypt and the IsDB Group is based on alignment between the development plans of Government of Egypt and the IsDB Group's vision and strategic priorities. This partnership has been drawn up in consultation and working with the relevant ministries and agencies in Egypt, focusing on programs and projects that have the greatest impact on achieving comprehensive and sustainable economic and social development, to achieve the Sustainable Development Strategy (Egypt 2030). The technical teams of the two sides will prepare a work program for the next three years (2019-2021) to implement the projects of priority and readiness and that meet the IsDB Group requirements.

The strategy rests on three focus areas, which include: (i) improving the provision of critical factors of production, by investing in clean and sustainable energy, and improving the quality of education to meet the requirements of job market; (ii) reducing regional disparities by supporting integrated rural development and improving urban services; (iii) trade and private sector development through trade financing and promotion, investment and export insurance, and SME financing. Lastly, a crosscutting area of intervention includes capacity building and the development of the Islamic finance industry.

The implementation of this partnership is expected to result in mutually beneficial projects and trade operations with an indicative financial envelope of approximately US $ 3 billion.