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Egypt Seeking To Become Hub of Chinese Investments in Region
Source: 9/4/2018

The Egyptian government is working to turn Egypt into a regional hub of Chinese investments, Amr Nassar says.

The Trade and Industry Minister, in statements to MENA said the exchange of visits between the leaders of Egypt and China is a proof of strong bilateral relations.

In December 2014, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi made his first visit to China, Nassar said, noting that this served as a milestone in developing relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Nassar is currently accompanying Sisi on his visit to China to attend the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit.

He added that the ministry pays big attention to enhancing ties with China, noting that trade cooperation and industrial investments are the pillars of the relationship between Cairo and Beijing.

He expected an increase in the flow of Chinese investments to Egypt's industrial sector in the coming stage, particularly where the automotive and textile industries are concerned.

Egypt and China signed agreements to implement 11 projects in the fields of industrial investment, electricity, transport, construction and infrastructure, Nassar made it clear.

A number of memorandums of understanding were also inked with the aim of boosting investment cooperation between the two countries, he added. Nassar said his ministry will be working to reduce the trade deficit between Egypt and China in the coming stage.

Egypt's exports to China upped from 500 million dollars in 2016 to 1.3 billion in 2017, the minister said, adding that this represents a 139.8% rise. Egypt's agricultural exports to China were particularly higher, with Egyptian grapes tapping the Chinese market after a protocol was signed in November 2017, Nassar said.

China's imports of Egyptian citrus fruits tangibly increased to reach 78.3 million dollars in 2017 up from 23 million the year before, the minister said, noting that this represents a 240% rise.

He expected more Egyptian crops to tap the Chinese market in the coming period, particularly dates, after technical procedures are completed.

China, Nassar said, comes in the 21st position among countries investing in Egypt. He touched upon a tangible development in the flow of Chinese investments to Egypt, especially after a 2015 framework agreement was signed between the two countries to enhance their productive capacities.

Nassar said Egypt will attend the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in November, noting that this would sure help increase Egyptian exports to China. It will also be a good chance for Egypt to review trade and investment opportunities, as well as measures taken to improve the business climate, he added.

An Egyptian pavilion will showcase products of a number of companies working in the fields of agricultural crops, food industries, textiles, handcrafts, furniture, packaging and leather, the minister further said. An Egyptian economic forum will also be held on the sidelines of the CIIE to shed light on investment opportunities in Egypt, Nassar noted.

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