CAIRO: A total of 22 agreements were signed between companies from Egypt and Guangdong, China, with total investments of over $250 million, during a business forum this week.
The Egypt-China Forum, organized by the General Authority for Investment (GAFI) in cooperation with the Egypt-China Business Council and the Chinese embassy in Cairo, focused on companies located within the province of Guangdong, one of the largest economically in China.
“The Egypt-China Forum is important for developing cooperation between the business communities of both countries and encourages the establishment of joint projects that will bring added value to the Egyptian economy and provide many job opportunities,” said Osama Saleh, GAFI chairman, at a conference on Wednesday.
Around 450 officials were present at the seminar, representing 170 of China’s largest companies.
The Guangdong province is viewed as the pioneer in China’s reforms, open door policies and modernization. It boasts the strongest economy; the most intensified industries and is the most attractive destination in China in terms of foreign direct investment, said Huang Huahua, governor of Guangdong.
The province’s GDP is growing at an annual average rate of 13.6 percent — compared to Egypt’s 5-6 percent growth and in 2009 — the GDP of the province was at $570 billion amounting to 11.6 percent of China’s national total, Huahua said.
Total import and export value was estimated at $611.1 billion in 2009, around a third of China’s trade.
The Chinese companies present work in the areas of construction and building, real estate development and engineering industries, mining, textiles, transport and logistics, tourism, furniture, chemicals and pharmaceutical industries, electronics, household appliances, food industries and machinery.
Saleh highlighted Egypt as a hub for trade and investment, saying it has signed international and regional trade agreements, has lower production costs compared to neighboring countries as well as qualified labor.
China is one of the top investors in Egypt, he added, with contributions totaling $276.5 million in the past five years. During this period, 927 companies were established with total issued capital of $374 million.
In 2009, the volume of import and export between Guangdong and Egypt stood at $1.23 billion, contributing one fifth of the total volume of trade between China and Egypt.