China-Egypt ties riding high

By Lu Wenao Source:Global Times Published: 2018/11/1 21:03:40

Egyptian ambassador praises bilateral relations ahead of CIIE

Osama Elmagdoub, Egyptian ambassador to China  Photo: Li Hao/GT

Egyptian Ambassador to China Osama Elmagdoub hailed relations with China before an Egyptian delegation led by Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli participates in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) to be held in Shanghai next week.

Egypt's Ministry of Commerce and Industry announced earlier this year that the country's participation in the Shanghai expo will feature a pavilion to present Egypt's industrial, commercial and tourism components.

"The exhibition is one of the most important international events that Egypt can benefit from in boosting the growth of Egyptian exports in the Chinese market," Elmagdoub said in an embassy news release obtained by the Global Times.

The pavilion will include a number of Egyptian exhibitors from sectors including agriculture, food industry, textiles, furniture and engineering.

An Egyptian economic forum will be held on the sidelines of the exhibition to present investment opportunities in Egypt as well as display what has been accomplished in the economic, tourism and cultural fields.

Chinese-Egyptian relations are on the upswing under a comprehensive strategic partnership after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi paid his fifth visit to China since 2014 to attend the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation last month.

"The recent visit of President Sisi witnessed the signing of projects with Chinese companies with investments of about $18 billion," said Elmagdoub. "It is a shift in the volume of cooperation between the two countries."

The projects between the two countries include the construction of pumping station and storage at Mount Ataka, power station in Hamrawin on the Red Sea coast, other projects for textiles and gypsum boards and the establishment of a refinery as well as a petrochemical complex at the Suez Canal.

Ambitious initiative

Since Chinese President Xi ­Jinping put forward the Belt and Road initiative in 2013, Egypt has become a key partner in the strategic cooperation due to its location highlighted by the Suez Canal.

"The Belt and Road initiative is very ambitious and will raise the efficiency of trade between China and other ­countries," said the ambassador. "Egypt is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the initiative in its geographical location."

The initiative and China's role in Africa are often the butt of criticism by Western media, but Elmagdoub ­defended China's role, saying the cooperation is based on the principle of equality and mutual benefit.

"The China-Africa cooperation is based on the principle of equality and mutual benefit, without any political conditions or pressure, which characterizes this cooperation," said Elmagdoub.

"Chinese investments gave African countries development alternatives they need for infrastructure projects ... China's investments in Egypt, for example, are a model of mutual benefit," said Elmagdoub.

"They benefit Egypt in terms of employment opportunities while benefiting China in view of Egypt's geographical location and proximity to its investments from the Suez Canal."

The volume of trade between China and Egypt grew by 26.7 percent year-on-year in the period from January to August this year to reach $8.83 billion.

Despite the balance of trade being in favor of China, Egyptian exports to China grew by 40.2 percent year-on-year, the ambassador said.

Posted in: MID-EAST

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