FILE - Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly
CAIRO - 27 October 2018: Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly received in the airport on Oct.26 Chinese Vice-President Wang Kishan who is accompanied by a delegation to discuss with the Egyptian side bilateral cooperation as well as regional and international affairs of mutual interest.
Madbouly and Kishan held a meeting on Oct.27 to exchange views and continue coordination over the aforementioned matters. Later on, a number of agreements in the fields of agriculture, education, and archeology were signed.
The agreement signed in the education sector covers a Chinese grant to fund the distance learning project which will be executed over three phases in the value of $11.5 billion. That is in addition to donating 1,000 books to the South Valley University and building Confucius Hall on its campus..
The agreement signed in the agricultural sector is the “2019 - 2021 Executive Programme for Agricultural Cooperation” to boost agricultural investment, and capacity building in that sector. The agreement signed in the archaeological sector consist of cooperation antiquities preservation, research projects, capacity building, and the exchange of temporary exhibitions and missions.
Economic Bilateral Relations
Madbouly said that the progress achieved in bilateral relations reflect the goals of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership agreement signed by Egypt and China in December 2014 as well as its 2016 - 2021 executive programme.
The prime minister added that exchanging high-profile visits between both countries gave the Egyptian-Chinese ties momentum as the president visited China five times.
Madbouly highlighted the success stories of Chinese corporations in Egypt such as TEDA Holding which operates in Sczone, Jushi Group Co., Ltd working in the fiberglass industry, and Sinopec (China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation).
Both countries are giving priority to executing 11 projects worth $24 billion and were agreed upon in September during the last presidential visit to China. Egypt is eager to boost Chinese FDI and cooperation in productive projects in order to increase exports and substitute imports.
Egypt will take part as an honorary guest in the first China Import and Export Fair or 2018 Canton Fair to be held in Shanghai on November 5 - 10. That will be an opportunity to introduce Egyptian goods to Chinese importers.
The prime minister asserted Egypt’s eagerness to become an energy hub eastern the Mediterranean and a liquified gas export centre to Europe and Asia. He revealed that negotiations are ongoing with Cyprus and Greece to establish an overhead power line between Egypt and Cyprus.
The Belt and the Road Initiative
The Belt and the Road or the Silk Road initiative will be an opportunity for Egypt and China to cooperate in the transportation sector such as containers handling, ship building, port design, establishing logistic zones for promising Chinese industries, and constructing high-speed railway networks.
The Suez Canal will be an integral part of the initiative, and SCzone - as an economic and logistic centre - will contribute in developing international maritime trade. Egypt can benefit from China in introducing modern industries while China can benefit from the different free trade agreements Egypt has with the European Union, Africa, and Arab countries.
President Sisi will participate in the Belt and the Road initiative summit to take place in April 2019.
The Chinese vice-president stated that the companies of his country created many jobs, and benefited from their presence in Egypt by exporting to Europe. He also displayed measures taken to achieve economic and social development.
Sectors China can help develop
Egypt aspires to benefit from the Chinese experience in sovereign funds and to achieve cooperation between Egypt’s sovereign fund and the Chinese counterparts.
Egypt also wants China to help with renovating 16 industries in the public sector. Those include metal, automotive, agricultural tractors, pharmaceuticals, solar energy for factories, and aluminium.The Chinese vice-president said that cooperation in those industries will be studied.
Madbouly said he looks forward to increase the number of Chinese tourists as it rose throughout the past three years to reach 300,000 in 2017. On the other hand, the Chinese vice-president expressed his admiration of archeological sites he visited in Cairo and Luxor promising to promote tourism to Egypt in China.
Chinese airlines started operating a direct line between the Egyptian capital and the Chinese city of Chengdu starting from Tuesday, Oct. 23. The Chinese airlines operate two flights a week from Cairo to Chengdu on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Beijing and Guangzhou also operate direct flights to Cairo. In 2017, Chinese tourism to Egypt increased by 94 percent, becoming the fourth largest in Egypt.
In August, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi held a visit to China to attend the China-Africa Forum as he witnessed along with his Chinese counterpart XI Jinping the inking of five cooperation agreements.
Both countries signed agreements to construct an electric railway linking the New Administrative Capital to the 10th of Ramadan city, to launch a satellite by a Chinese grant, to acquire a Chinese loan, and to boost Chinese industrial investments in Egypt, especially in SCzone.