FILE - Minister of Tourism, Rania al-Mashat FILE - Minister of Tourism, Rania al-Mashat

Egypt organizes tour for Chinese media delegation

Sun, Sep. 16, 2018
CAIRO – 16 September 2018: The Ministry of Tourism will organize a tour for a Chinese media delegation to the most distinctive tourist destinations in Egypt.

The Chinese Embassy in Egypt agreed with the Sound and Light Company to organize a sound and light show presented by Chinese artists during the upcoming Chinese Spring Festival, which will coincide with the media delegation’s visit to Egypt.

This comes as part of the cooperation between the Ministry of Tourism and Chinese Embassy to revitalize tourism and train Egyptian tour guides on the ways to deal with Chinese tourists and culture.

Since President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi came to power, the relationship between Egypt and China has developed.

Five Egyptian-Chinese summits were held in the last three years which means that about one-third of all summit meetings between the two countries were held during Sisi’s presidency.

Furthermore, Egypt’s exports to China hiked 60 percent during 2017, recording $408 million, compared to $255 million in 2016, according to Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Amr Nassar.

This came during a meeting held between Nassar and Chinese Ambassador to Cairo Song Aiguo that tackled the future of the economic cooperation between the two countries and means of boosting Egyptian-Chinese economic relations in all fields, especially in the fields of trade and industry.

The minister pointed out that the Egyptian government is working on turning Egypt into a commercial and logistic hub for the access of Chinese products to Africa and Europe.

“The current period is the appropriate time to pump Chinese investments into the Egyptian market in light of the political stability in Egypt and strong relationships between the two countries, in addition to the economic incentives that Egypt offers, including the new investment law,” the minister said.

On September 1, President Sisi arrived in Beijing for a four-day visit, which included his participation at the summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) slated for Sept. 3-4, and a bilateral summit with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing.
China has always been a key economic partner for Egypt over the past four years. In late 2013, Chinese Vice President, Li Yuanchao, announced giving Egypt a non-refundable grant of $24.7 million.

In December 2014, Sisi signed a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement with his Chinese counterpart Jinping, including three cooperation agreements in the fields of economy and technical cooperation. Sisi and Jinping exchanged several visits since that time.

Egypt ranked 52nd in the list of China's largest trading partners in 2016, according to the latest statistics released by the Chinese General Administration of Customs.

Economic relations between Cairo and Beijing are deemed strong. The volume of trade exchange between Egypt and China recorded $5.178 billion from January to June 2017. China's exports to Egypt decreased by 20.79 percent on a year-on-year basis to $4.518 billion, while Chinese imports from Egypt increased by 298.37 percent to reach $660 million.

Bilateral trade between Egypt and China is expected to further grow as Egypt has officially joined in 2015 the Silk Road Economic Belt trade union, which encompasses 92 Chinese and foreign associations.

The Silk Road network was launched by China in 2013 to promote globalized cooperation and development. It includes the countries that the Silk Road goes through across the three continents of Asia, Africa, and Europe.

The ratification of the New Investment Law in Egypt in mid-2017 encouraged Chinese investors to launch projects in Egypt.

In a press conference, Chinese Ambassador to Egypt, Aiguo, said that several Chinese companies are looking for investment opportunities in Egypt, especially in the New Administrative Capital.

Investments of Chinese companies in Egypt reached a total of $6.8 billion, most of which entered in the last five years, Aiguo said, adding that Chinese firms are interested in building public facilities and industrial parks.

In the same week, Minister of International Cooperation and Investment, Sahar Nasr, signed an agreement with the Export–Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank) to cooperate in financing national and development projects over the next three years.

Moreover, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Egypt increased by 94 percent during 2017, compared to 2016, according to China’s Xinhua News Agency.
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