Egypt - Hala El-Said, Egypt’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development, addressed the urgent issue of global food security at the 27th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). Speaking during a session titled “The Role of BRICS in Ensuring Global Food Security,” El-Said emphasized the potential of the BRICS+ alliance to tackle this critical challenge, particularly in the face of escalating geopolitical tensions and climate change.

El-Said highlighted the stark reality of global hunger, which remains stubbornly high despite a relative plateau between 2021 and 2022. She emphasized the vulnerability of agri-food systems to market fluctuations and external shocks, including conflicts, extreme weather events, and economic downturns. Additionally, she drew attention to the significant environmental impact of agri-food systems, which account for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The minister proposed a multifaceted approach to address these complex issues, centred on the collaborative efforts of the BRICS+ nations. She pointed to the group’s combined strengths, including vast agricultural lands, diverse resources, technological innovation, and large consumer markets, as a powerful engine for change.

El-Said advocated for knowledge sharing and technology transfer, particularly in areas such as renewable energy, digital agriculture, and climate-adaptive farming. She also called for increased investment in agricultural research and development, infrastructure development, and policy harmonization.

The minister underscored the importance of trade within the BRICS+ bloc, emphasizing the need for common product standards, streamlined operational methods, and the removal of trade barriers. She also highlighted the potential of the BRICS+ initiative to create a new platform for regional and bilateral alliances, fostering deeper economic cooperation among member states.
El-Said further emphasized the role of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement in providing financial stability and support to member countries. She also advocated for increased local currency financing within the bloc to reduce transaction costs and exchange rate volatility.

In the context of Egypt, El-Said outlined the government’s efforts to ensure food and water security, including the national strategy for food security, which focuses on horizontal expansion, modern agricultural practices, and enhanced livestock and fish production.

El-Said concluded her address by emphasizing the importance of continued cooperation and innovation within the BRICS+ framework to ensure global food security for all. “By focusing on these research areas, policymakers and stakeholders can develop more effective strategies to leverage BRICS’s potential to ensure global food security for all,” she stat

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