Egypt is China’s third largest trade partner in Africa: minister

Egypt is China’s third largest trading partner in Africa as volume of trade recorded $11 billion in 2016, Egyptian Minister of Trade Tarek Qabil said Sunday.

Qabil made these remarks during a panel at the Belt and Road Forum that takes place in Beijing under the auspices of Chinese President Xi Jinping, gathering leaders from 29 countries and the heads of the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank.

Proposed by President Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims at reviving ancient land and sea trade routes that link China with many countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe via trade and infrastructure networks.

Egypt seeks to realize the utmost benefit from the “One Belt, One Road” initiative through implementing more investment projects with China and encouraging Chinese tourism in Egypt, Minister Qabil said in a previous statement.

He further added that the “One Belt, One Road,” strategy goes in line with Egypt’s efforts to develop the Suez Canal axis not only at the regional level but also at the international level.

The Belt and Road Initiative will “open up huge opportunities” for deals between Egypt and China in terms of mutual trade and investment, said Mohamed Fayez Farahat, head of the Asian Studies program at Cairo-based Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies.

“The initiative by nature provides support for development process in Egypt because the maritime path of the Belt and Road passes through the Suez Canal,” Farahat added.

The diversity and the richness of the initiative is seen covering coordinating policies, developing infrastructure and integrating financial cooperation between partners, which would create several fields of cooperation with Egypt, he explained. “China, which represents a successful model in development based on industry, is set to pay more attention to the logistics sector to push economic development in the region, including Egypt,” he said.

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