An Egyptian delegation, headed by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, will sign several business agreements with China, said Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour on Sunday.
Abdel Nour told Daily News Egypt that the government will ratify a framework agreement, which was initially signed but not ratified on 15 June, about the planned cooperative projects between Egypt and China. This will be signed in addition to agreements on a light train, which will link Cairo with 10th of Ramadan City and the latter with Belbais, and a project to raise the efficiency of Egypt’s electricity network.
Abdel Nour added that the delegation will sign an agreement with the Chinese side regarding the development of Ataka electricity station.
He also noted that the China Development Bank (CDB) would provide a loan of $100m to the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) to finance small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). A further grant of $30m will also be provided by China’s Ministry of Commerce for remote satellite sensing equipment.
“All the agreements will be developed through soft loans,” said Abdel Nour.
Alaa Omar, the General Authority for Investment and Free Zone’s (GAFI) Chief Executive Manager, told Daily News Egypt the delegation to China will discuss increasing and expanding TEDA business and investments in the Northwest Suez Canal’s industrial zone.
President Al-Sisi will visit China on Tuesday, as part of a tour of the Far East, which will also take in Singapore and Indonesia.
Late Saturday, Al-Sisi arrived in Singapore, the first visit by an Egyptian President to the state.
Bilateral talks have been scheduled to take place on Monday between Al-Sisi and Singaporean President Tony Tan, followed by an expanded session of talks attended by delegations from the two countries.
The delegations of the two sides will discuss ways to strengthen bilateral relations and to benefit from Singapore’s economic experience, as well as attract new investments to the Suez Canal Axis.
In addition to this, cooperation is expected in a number of sectors, including ports management, water desalination, capacity-building and training of employees, SMEs, and vocational education and training.
The trade exchange between the two countries amounted to $671m over 2014, according to Singapore’s ambassador in Cairo, S. Premjith.
The total volume of trade exchange between Egypt and China reached $11.16bn in 2014, an increase of 13.8% compared to 2013. Egyptian exports to China represent 10% and Chinese exports to Egypt represent 90% of these figures, according to China’s embassy in Egypt.
There is cooperation between Egypt and China in the sectors of electricity, petroleum, natural gas, railways, highways, ports, metallurgical industry, building materials, chemical industries, lighting supplies, textiles and household appliances.
This visit is Al-Sisi’s second to Beijing in nine months. During his first visit, he met Chinese President Xi Jinping, and a number of Chinese officials. The visit resulted in raising the level of the relationship between the two countries to the comprehensive strategic partnership.