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China, Egypt take steps to share their technology

By Zhang Zhihao | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-05-09 21:32

China is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with Egypt on Saturday, with the aim of developing a cooperative network for technology transfers, top scientists in China and foreign representatives said.

Joint laboratories, platforms and institutions will be created to facilitate transfers that suit local needs and promote cultural understanding, they said.

China has strategic relationships with eight Arab countries, many of which are situated in areas of the Belt and Road Initiative, said Pan Jiaofeng, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institutes of Science and Development.

"Apart from our long-standing friendship, Arab countries also have valuable technologies and market opportunities that complement China,"he said. "We have to use both policy and market forces — combined with cultural understanding — to overcome the current obstacles and find out exactly how our technologies can benefit each other."

China-Arab technology transfers face four main obstacles: information asymmetry, difficulties in cross-border payments, lack of specialized talent and the management of risk, said Niu Guoyuan, chief engineer of the China-Arab State Technology Transfer Center, an organization created in 2014 by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the government of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region.

"The purpose of the center is to solve issues by finding the right match of technology supplier and receiver through big data analysis, and provide legal and risk evaluation services to ensure the transactions go smoothly,"he said.

There are about 10,000 business and academic entities registered with the center, and the number will swell to at least 50,000 by 2020, Niu said. "It is vital that scholars and entrepreneurs from China and Arab countries beef up their network and adapt to foreign business environments.”

Wang Jiyang, a geophysics academician at the academy, said:"China should play to its strengths and transfer technologies that address common concerns in countries along the Belt and Road."

Technologies having to do with water security and new energy — such as geothermal energy — are China's strong suits. These can benefit Arab countries that are struggling with shortages of water and energy, he added.

Hussein Ibrahim, a counselor at the Egyptian embassy in Beijing, said Cairo will sign a technology transfer memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Science and Technology on Saturday, the day before the Belt and Road Forum.

"The fruits of the initiative are already taking shape in my country,"he said, adding that there are around 200 Chinese factories in Egypt, and China is planning to build more electric power plants, "which the market really needs”.

"We look forward to Chinese investment, as well as more projects and technological cooperation that can benefit the future of both countries,"he said.

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