Egypt has officially joined the Silk Road Economic Belt trade union, which encompasses 92 Chinese and foreign associations, the State Information Service (SIS) reported on Friday.
In cooperation with the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce, the Egyptian Businessmen Association (EBA) was chosen to represent Egypt in the Silk Road trade union.
EBA executive director Mohamed Youssef said Chinese President Xi Jinping disclosed that China targets to raise $2.5tn in trade volume to the Silk Road trade union in 10 years.
Youssef added the government is giving “great” attention to the initiative, with the aim of creating investment and trade opportunities between both countries, noting that the Chinese government offered to link the project to the Suez Canal.
According to Youssef, there are approximately 1,220 Chinese companies operating in Egypt in the industry, construction and services sectors with $500m in investments. He added that China ranks the 24th in foreign countries investing in Egypt.
The Silk Road Economic Belt is one of three initiatives adopted by the Chinese president. The initiative was proposed in September 2013 with the aim of linking three continents; Asia, Africa and Europe. The belt was said to reopen the links between China and Europe though the Middle East, Central Asian, South China Sea, the Malacca Strait and the Indian Ocean, to East and South Africa.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi visited China in December 2014, where he signed with his Chinese counterpart a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement. This included three cooperation agreements in the fields of economy and technical cooperation.
The two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a joint laboratory for renewable energy, between Egypt’s Ministry of Scientific Research and China’s Ministry of Science and Technology. The third agreement was a cooperation agreement between China National Space Administration (CNSA) and the National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS).