Egypt has, under its leader President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, effectively reduced the effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), according to Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang.
The ambassador said that the Egyptian state has made significant efforts to protect citizens from the virus, whilst also maintaining the country’s ongoing economic and social development.
Speaking to Daily News Egypt, Liqiang said that China is fully prepared to complete cooperation with Egypt, including in the development of a vaccine against the virus. This comes in addition to China’s continued contribution to helping Egypt combat the novel pandemic.
Liqiang added that China and Egypt have a tight strategic partnership which is steadfast in confronting challenges or changes. He noted that China seeks to enhance the healthcare sector cooperation with Egypt and combat the coronavirus.
The ambassador noted the keenness of Chinese companies in investing in Egypt, highlighting that in 2019, the volume of this investment amounted to $104m, an increase of 40% year-on-year (y-o-y). Liqiang added that, in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, the volume of Chinese direct investment in Egypt reached $35.4m.
According to statistics put together by the Chinese Embassy to Cairo’s trade office, the total Chinese investments in Egypt have registered over $7.5bn so far.
Liqiang further noted that the volume of bilateral imports and exports between China and Egypt reached $5.5bn in the period between January and May 2020, an increase of 1.12% y-o-y.
In the same time period, China’s non-financial direct investment abroad (FDI) amounted to $42.2bn, down 1.6% y-o-y. The volume of Chinese non-financial direct investment in countries that fall under the country’s Belt and Road Initiative reached $6.5bn, an increase of 16% y-o-y.
Liqiang pointed out that any potential Chinese vaccine against the coronavirus will be available worldwide, as the country continues its clinical trials of seven vaccines.
With regard to Chinese aid to Egypt, the ambassador noted that China has provided three batches of healthcare aid and medical convoys, as well as cooperation between Chinese companies and civil society in helping the Egyptian side.
Chinese has provided aid exceeding EGP 100m to Egypt due to the coronavirus, according to the ambassador. He also revealed that the Chinese government will provide another batch of medical aid to help women and children in Egypt fight the virus.
On 6 July, the ninth Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) was held via video link.
“The ministerial meeting of the China–Arab States Cooperation Forum was held against the backdrop of the spread of the coronavirus. Now it is more appropriate than ever to cooperate and strengthen this cooperation in all fields,” Liqiang said. “The hold [of the forum] at its specified time reflects the keen desire of both sides to continue making efforts to develop relations and strategic partnership that brings them together.”
He pointed out that this session was attended by a very high representative level, as foreign ministers and representatives from 21 Arab countries, as well as Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, participated in this meeting.