Minister of trade and industry, Tarek kabil assured that Chinese -Arab cooperation is witnessing tangible progress, especially in the light of the tendency of many Arab countries to enhance the scope of joint cooperation with China.
He pointed out that the number of Arab countries that have established strategic partnership with China, are eight countries until the end of 2016.
Kabil added that the past ten years have witnessed a gradual increase in the levels of economic and trade cooperation between the two sides. China shall become one of the most important trading partners with the Arab countries, and the first trading partner with a number of those countries, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Kabil explained that the total trade volume between China and Arab countries last year is about $171 bn, $ 101 bn of them are Chinese exports and about $70bn are Chinese imports from Arab countries, Kabil pointed out that the Arab countries is still a major source of crude oil to China, where China’s imports of Arab oil last year worth 150 m tonnes, accounting for about 40% of China’s total imports of crude oil.
Meanwhile the value of Construction projects contracts for the Chinese companies that were signed with Arab countries reached $40 bn last year with an increase of 40% on a y-on-y basis.
This $40bn represents 16% of the total value of Chinese contracts signed with the world countries in the same year while The business backlog of Chinese companies Arab countries was about $33.6bn in the same year, an increase of 10.6 % yon-y.
The general federation of the Egyptian chambers of commerce signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese Council in the presence of Kabil to promote International Trade and to enhance the mutual cooperation in the legal services field.
The agreement aims at forming an Egyptian-Chinese committee for cooperation in the field of commercial law, that will works to settle trade disputes through dialogue, consultation and negotiation.
It also aims at making Specialized studies on commercial law in Egypt and China, with regard to trade, investment, finance, taxation and exchange rates, in order to help the business communities in Egypt and China to understand the legal environment in both countries and Establishing mechanisms to resolve trade disputes.
The federation of African Chambers of Commerce and the Chinese Council also signed a memorandum of understanding to promote International Trade in the filed of the development of economic and trade relations between China and the African continent and also to support investment projects.
The memorandum of understanding aims to setup a mechanism to activate the joint work and the exchange of the latest economic and trade developments information between China and the African continent .
In the same context the minister stressed that Egypt is keen to expand the volume of joint economic relations with China, with regard to the development of Egyptian exports to the Chinese market, stressing that the “Silk Road” initiative is a “great one” linking China and all the countries of Europe and Africa.
He pointed out that Egypt has signed a memorandum of understanding on the Silk Road as it seeks to strengthen the economic relations between Cairo and Beijing.
Kabil added In his speech at the opening ceremony of the exhibition of China and the Arab countries 2017 that Egypt participates in the exhibition to achieve economic integration with China, describing the exhibition as a strategic platform for countries located on the Silk Road.
The exhibition plays a positive role in promoting the Chinese -Arab cooperation in trade, economy and human exchanges. It is also a comprehensive platform for promoting, according to Kabil.
He called on the Chinese government to increase its investments in Egypt and the Arab countries.
On the sidelines of the exhibition, The minister of industry and trade visited the Suez canal economic zone pavilion at the Chinese Arab exhibition 2017 in its third session, This pavilion aims at presenting the investment opportunities in the region.
Vice-President of the General Authority of the Suez Canal Economic Zone for the Southern Region, Mahfouz Taha said that bilateral meetings will be held by representatives of the investment sector in the region with major Chinese companies to present the region’s investment opportunities.
Taha stressed that negotiations with major Chinese textile companies will be completed and projects will be established within the southern region during the coming period.