Trade between Egypt and China rose to $13.87 billion in 2018 from $10.8 billion in 2017, Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Cairo Han Ping said on Monday.
Interviewed by MENA, Han added that Egypt’s exports to China increased last year to hit USD 1.8 billion.
He promised that the next three years will witness further cooperation between the two countries, lauding the current economic development in Egypt.
Asked about Chinese investments in Egypt, Han asserted that his country had pumped investments worth USD 7 billion in 2018. Those investments are distributed in several infrastructure and energy projects, he said.
The second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, slated for April 25 to 27 in Beijing, will see the participation of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and around 40 world leaders, as well as representatives from 100 countries, the commercial counselor noted.
Trade Minister Amr Nassar, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr and Chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) Mohab Mamish, along with 300 Egyptian businessmen, will take part in the forum’s events, the Chinese official said.
The forum is aimed at providing an opportunity for participants to put forward their proposals and visions on how to achieve better and constructive cooperation among world countries, he added.
Some 12 ministerial sub-forums are due to be held on the sidelines of the second forum to exchange views on policies, infrastructure, trade facilitation and cooperation in the fields of education, culture, free zones, innovation, the Silk Road, and research institutions, Han said.
Among the achievements of the Belt and Road Initiative was the establishment of a large railway network linking China with some Asian and European countries, as well as the corridor project in Pakistan and the Piraeus port project in Greece, he said.
The volume of foreign direct investments between China and the Belt and Road countries exceeded USD 70 billion, while bilateral trade between China and these countries surpassed USD 5 trillion, he noted.
He went on to say that the forum is expected to witness the signing of an agreement with the Suez Canal Authority to develop the China-Egypt Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone (TEDA) in Ain Sukhna area, besides an agreement to set up the 10th workshop in Africa. It will be based in Egypt and is going to be a vocational training workshop for excellent specialists in the field of furniture.
He noted that Chinese companies are investing in the central businesses area of the New Administrative Capital, citing the allocation of $3 billion for this purpose.
Discussions are underway between Egypt and China to construct several zones, including a zone for light industries and a leather area, he concluded.