The China Development Bank (CDB) will provide Egyptian banks with credit to finance projects in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), according to Karim Helal, Chairman of Asia Egypt Business Association (AEBA).
The money will also be used to finance projects in the energy and infrastructure sectors, Helal said.
Helal told Daily News Egypt that the “Doing Business with Asia” conference emphasises the importance of investments with Asia, as well as attracting Asian investments to Egypt.
The conference comes in light of an upcoming visit to Egypt by Chinese President Xi Jinping, along with a delegation of the largest Chinese companies, Helal added.
He also said that Asian companies are interested in investing in the infrastructure, transportation, industry, services, energy and renewable energy sectors.
Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Song Aiguo said the trade balance between Egypt and China amounted to $11.6bn last year, adding that China has become Egypt’s largest trading partner.
Aiguo confirmed the importance of economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, noting that region contains 40% of the world’s population, who are consumers and producers. This is equivalent to 57% of the global economy and 40% of world trade volume.
Cooperation between the two countries can also be in nuclear energy and space industry, as well as consumer products, Aiguo added. The two countries can benefit from the Chinese experience in the field of modern agriculture and railways.
“We have multiple areas for investment, we have achieved approximately $19bn in investments over the past year, and we held negotiations to invest in the economic zones in the Suez Canal,” Aiguo said.
Meanwhile, advisor to the Minister of Investment Sherif Oteifa stressed the economy is expected to achieve a 4% growth rate by the end of the current fiscal year. About EGP 26bn of the budget deficit is also expected to decrease because subsidies on petroleum products were removed.
Oteifa added that 19 contracts were signed with Asian countries during the Economic Summit, in addition to 35 Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) in some sectors such as energy, developmental projects, petroleum and transportation.
Ater Hanoura, head of the Public Private Partnerships Central Unit (PPP) at the Ministry of Finance, said that there are protects currently under a partnership with the private sector.
Hanoura added that these projects are supposed to be implemented during 2015 and 2016, with investments worth EGP 28bn.