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SAIC may set up car factory in Egypt

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-03-27 09:14
A worker checks the quality of newly made cars at an assembly line of SAIC Motor in Qingdao, East China's Shandong province. [Photo by Yu Fangping/For China Daily]

CAIRO-China's giant carmaker SAIC Motor is planning to set up a car manufacturing factory in Egypt, a top Egyptian official said on Sunday.

Egypt's Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil said in a statement that he reviewed with a visiting SAIC delegation the advantages and incentives provided by Egypt's newly approved investment law to encourage full car manufacturing, not just assembling parts, in Egypt.

"The ministry of trade and industry is ready to provide all support and assistance to help SAIC Motor enter the Egyptian market for auto manufacturing, especially in light of the state's current policy that targets boosting auto manufacturing and putting Egypt on the map of this industry," Kabil said.

The factory that SAIC seeks to build in Egypt aims to not only meet the needs of the Egyptian market, but also become a central point of SAIC exports to Arab and African states that have free trade agreements with Egypt.

Yang Xiaodong, executive director of SAIC Motor's international department, said SAIC desires to build a factory in Egypt because it believes in the strength of the Egyptian market as one of the most promising in the Middle East and Africa.

He noted that his firm is currently communicating with Egypt's largest automobile companies to plan distribution of SAIC's products in the most populous Arab country.

SAIC is China's biggest carmaker in terms of sales, as it accounts for 23.3 percent of the car sales in the Chinese market, selling about 6.9 million vehicles in 2017 alone.

Sino-Egyptian ties have been elevated to the level of a comprehensive strategic partnership with growing economic and cultural cooperation in light of China's Belt and Road Initiative for multinational economic and trade cooperation.

The initiative was proposed by China in 2013 with an aim to build a trade and infrastructure network by connecting China with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes.

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