Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Song Aiguo said Monday that the trade volume between China and Egypt reached $10.8bn in 2017, and Egyptian exports to China increased by 300%, with agricultural products performing particularly well.
“Egypt is a very important country in the Chinese One Belt One Road Initiative,” said Song. “March is a very important month for both China and Egypt. In Egypt, the presidential election is to be held at the end of the month, while China holds the annual session of the Chinese highest legislative body, the National People’s Congress (NPC) and China’s top political advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), has started its annual sessions in Beijing recently.
At a press conference at the Chinese Embassy in Cairo, Song explained that Chinese direct investments to Egypt leapt to $260m in 2017, and China ranked the sixth largest investor in the local market, pointing out that Chinese investors focus on the industrial sector.
“The financial cooperation developed very well between both countries and there are important results in this regard. The Chinese Development Bank, collaborating with other Chinese financial institutions, signed a number of contracts with Egyptian partners in the past two years,” said the ambassador. “The cooperation in the field of infrastructure is very fruitful. A Chinese company is implementing the first electric train in Egypt in 10th of Ramadan city, which is expected to facilitate movement between that city and the New Administrative Capital.”
He also added that the Chinese company TEDA invested about $100m in the field of infrastructure in the Chinese-Egyptian cooperation zone in the Suez region, while Jushi Group invested about $600m.
Chinese trade with the Arab world increased by 11.2% in 2017, reaching $191bn, while Chinese investments in Arab states increased by 25.6%, reaching $630m in the first half of the past year, added Song.
The Chinese ambassador further added that his country will organise the second edition of the African Cooperation Forum, in September 2018, to discuss news ways of boosting cooperation with Africa in light of the One Belt One Road Initiative and the UN 2030 and African 2063 agendas for development. “We are looking for a pivotal Egyptian role in this forum, especially as Egypt will top the upcoming summit of the African Union in 2019.”
Song said that his country stands with the Palestinian people and their right to establish their independent state in the framework of a two-state solution based on the 1967 border lines. “Eastern Jerusalem should be the capital of Palestine, which also should have sovereignty over its territories,” said the Chinese ambassador. He expressed China’s support for the Arab peace initiative.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi visited China four times in the past three years, while Chinese President Xi Jinping paid an historical visit to Egypt in early 2016 to boost relations between the two countries.