This November, Egypt will host COP27—the United Nation’s annual Climate Change Conference—on behalf of the African nations. This flagship event, taking place in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, will serve as a rallying cry to an international community facing the mounting threat of climate change.At the same time, COP27 represents a critical opportunity for Egypt to promote its domestic agenda on climate action, as enshrined in its ambitious Vision 2030 initiative. Vision 2030 places sustainable development—from green financing to renewable energy—at its heart, working within the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the commitments of the international community arising from the 2015 Paris Agreement.In preparation for COP27, the British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) is organising its annual business mission to the UK, taking place May 17-20, 2022. This mission is intended to foster Egypt-UK trade relations by providing a platform for dialogue and to cultivate a deeper sense of understanding on mutually beneficial topics.During the four-day mission, Egyptian Ministers and business leaders will gather in London to explore ways of advancing climate-driven policies through UK-Egyptian cooperation and investment in strategic sectors including Finance (Green Finance and Bonds), Healthcare, Infrastructure, Renewable Energy (Green Hydrogen), and opportunities in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. Moreover, there will be plentiful opportunities for networking and B2B engagement across the four days.
BEBA is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation that serves the interests of the British and Egyptian business community.
For 25 years, BEBA’s mission is to enhance British and Egyptian business relations across a range of industries, for the mutual benefit of both nations.
This year, BEBA has two separate but highly connected goals:
In preparation for November’s conference, BEBA is bringing its annual Business Mission, this year titled Road to COP27: Bridging the Implementation and Financing Gap, to the UK’s capital from May 17-20.The Mission will include a series of events, roundtable sessions and private meetings. It will explore a range of B2B and B2G initiatives designed to encourage additional investment into Egypt, while opening markets across Africa and further strengthening UK-Egyptian relations.
It will also dive deep into the development of Egypt’s Vision 2030 strategy—with its emphasis on driving up social equity, driving down poverty and ensuring strong alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015.
Back in 1996, BEBA had an initial membership of 100 members. BEBA Members have nowexpanded to more than 800 members, representing a cross-section of leading British andEgyptian corporations and individuals.
BEBA was established in 1996 to act as a catalyst for change by opening dialogue between the government and businesses.
Since that time, BEBA has become the voice of the private sector on issues of importance to its members—such as supporting the empowerment of women in business and its fundraising for worthy causes in education and healthcare.
Meanwhile, it has endeavoured to deepen relations between the UK and Egypt at every level. During President Sisi’s visit to the UK in 2015, BEBA hosted a dinner for the Egyptian President to meet with British business leaders and parliamentarians.
The outbreak of coronavirus in 2020 may have impeded normal operations, but it failed to stop the Mission. Despite the pandemic, BEBA managed to organise two highly successful virtual Business Missions, in a clear indication of the commitment of BEBA’s organising team and board to advancing UK-Egyptian relations. At the same time, Egypt was one of the few countries worldwide that maintained economic growth despite the massive disruption triggered by the pandemic.Priorities for this year’s gathering, the first in-person Mission since 2019, include:
As always, the BEBA Business Mission will be an opportunity for British industry leaders and executives to meet their Egyptian counterparts and network closely with Egyptian policy makers as preparations for COP27 proceed.
“Egypt has made strong progress in recent years encouraging private sector involvement inflagship green energy projects. COP27 will be an excellent opportunity to showcase thatprogress but also address those remaining obstacles to foreign investment. “The reality is that public-private initiatives are essential to the climate-driven transformationof Egyptian infrastructure and, ultimately, to achieving the strategic goals laid out in Egypt’s2030 Vision and by the United Nations in its Sustainable Development Goals.”BEBA Executive Director Nadia Lamloum
“Egypt has made strong progress in recent years encouraging private sector involvement inflagship green energy projects. COP27 will be an excellent opportunity to showcase thatprogress but also address those remaining obstacles to foreign investment.
“The reality is that public-private initiatives are essential to the climate-driven transformationof Egyptian infrastructure and, ultimately, to achieving the strategic goals laid out in Egypt’s2030 Vision and by the United Nations in its Sustainable Development Goals.”
At BEBA’s UK Business Mission expect to hear more about economic incentives to promote green transformation in Egypt. You will also learn about initiatives across the wider African continent designed to support the transition to renewable energy.Delegates can join keynote speakers such as Egypt’s Environment Minister HE Dr. Yasmine Fouad— whose Ministry is leading preparations for COP27—as she explores what climate implementation looks like in practice.
Major topics for discussion during the May UK Mission include:
Innovative Financing for the Green EconomyEmerging markets need outside support in developing climate-friendly projects. But what does this mean for investment? How can green financing initiatives help deliver clean and reliable infrastructure projects with environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations in mind? What role do innovative financing instruments, such as green bonds, play? And how can we better incentivise private sector investment in these initiatives, following the examples of countries such as India and Bangladesh?
Investment Opportunities in Egyptian HealthcareAs the Egyptian population continues to grow and with targets in place to achieve universal health coverage by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Strategy, Egypt has an increasing need for healthcare services and infrastructure. What opportunities for goods, services and training will emerge for UK-Egyptian healthcare companies to service this demand?
Climate ImplementationFor Egypt, the climate change stakes couldn’t be higher. Consider the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, which stands at risk of catastrophic flooding in the event of sea level rise.
That’s why Egypt is at the vanguard of climate mitigation and adaptation, having embarked on its journey of energy decarbonisation back in 2015, with the introduction of the New Electricity Law and the country’s adoption of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Meanwhile, Egypt’s Feed-in Tariff scheme delivered a huge boost for green public / private sector infrastructure projects, engaging with institutional investors around the world. As a result, Egypt today has around 6 GW of installed renewable energy capacity, of which approximately 2 GW has been developed by the private sector.
Additionally, the government is in the process of developing its national hydrogen strategy. This aims to capitalise on the advantages Egypt has for green hydrogen production, namely its geographical location and exceptional wind and solar resources.
Infrastructure & RenewablesLearn about incentives for private sector participation in the business of renewable energy. Take Egypt’s ambitious programme of solar-powered desalination plants, which aims to transform the nation’s water management through substantial investments, or the amazing Benban Solar Park—one of the world’s largest solar complexes.
Similarly, the country is eager to support the development of green logistics, backing innovation in a fast-developing sector driven by private investment in energy efficiency and clean vehicles.
As Egypt pushes hard to advance climate-driven solutions, the forces that make climate change such a potent threat around the globe place Egypt at particular environmental risk.
COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, the popular Egyptian resort located in the strategically important Sinai Peninsula, will address these factors in concrete ways. BEBA’s UK-Egyptian Business Mission in May is an important step on the road to November’s signature conference. The opportunities afforded by UK-Egyptian partnerships open up new futures and new marketplaces in an ever-changing post-pandemic, post-Brexit world—one that is truly climate-driven.
Learn more about BEBA and the UK Business Mission on the dedicated Mission page, and check out the event programme for the full list.
Khaled Nosseir is Chairman of BEBA and of Alkan Holding, which is part of the Alkan Group. Founded in 1974, Alkan successfully operates a wide range of business activities with subsidiaries and branches in 17 countries across the Middle East and Africa.
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