World / Opinion

Sino-Egyptian cooperation has new impetus

By Han Bing (China Daily) Updated: 2016-01-22 08:14

Egypt was the first Arabic and African country to establish diplomatic relations with China and has maintained its traditional friendship for 60 years.

In 2014, the two countries elevated their relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership. Today, Sino-Egyptian bilateral trade and economic ties are growing rapidly.

China became Egypt's largest trading partner in 2013. Last year, trade between the two countries grew by two digits and reached $12 billion.

An increasing number of Chinese companies are investing in Egypt and developing local markets. The ongoing construction of the China-Egypt Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone, located near the Suez Canal, is progressing smoothly.

Last year, construction contracts for Chinese companies skyrocketed in the competitive Egyptian market, with signed contracts worth a total of $2.55 billion from January to September, an increase of 90 percent from the same period of 2014.

Last September, China and Egypt signed a cooperation agreement that covered 15 projects in electric power, transportation and other industries.

Egypt's strong desire for economic growth is highly consistent with China's implementation of economic reforms. There is great potential for the further development of economic and trade ties between China and Egypt. There is also huge potential for cooperation in business investments, energy, rail transportation, port logistics and aerospace technologies.

China and Egypt provide important development opportunities for each other and have shared their experiences in governance to achieve mutual benefits and win-win results.

China's ongoing Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 has offered new areas and impetus for Sino-Egyptian cooperation. Egypt is important to the implementation of the strategy because it is located at the meeting point of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

At the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in December, China announced a series of new initiatives to strengthen ties with Africa in industrialization, modernizing agriculture, constructing infrastructure and developing human resources.

Egypt is attracting foreign investments for Suez Canal projects and hopes that more Chinese companies can invest and develop in the region.

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