Egypt, China share promising potentials for joint trade, investment: experts

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CAIRO, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) — Egypt and China share promising potentials for future joint trade and investment amid growing ties of cooperation between the two sides, said senior Egyptian economists and businessmen during a symposium held on Monday at China Cultural Center (CCC) in Cairo.

Mohamed Helal, board member of the Egyptian-Chinese Business Council, said in his remarks during the symposium that Egyptian businessmen and investors have massive potentials to enter the Chinese market if they know the latter’s demands and focus on the quality of their products and services.

“Egypt’s demographical advantages would help set up joint ventures and productive cooperation to produce eco-friendly, higher-quality and cost-effective products for the African, Chinese and global markets,” Helal said during the symposium entitled “Future Vision on Egypt-China Trade, Investment Relations.”

“China is a giant producer and exporter, and a giant consumer and importer as well,” the Egyptian businessman said, noting that Egypt is at an early stage of industrialization but it has some advancement in agricultural production.

China is Egypt’s first trade partner with a volume of mutual trade that hit 10.58 billion U.S. dollars in the first 10 months of 2019, mostly represented in Chinese exports to Egypt. Egyptian exports to China are mainly agricultural crops including oranges, grapes and dates.

Following the symposium, Helal told Xinhua that he has been frequently asked by fellow businessmen about the needs of the Chinese market.

“The Chinese market needs all kinds of products. The right thing for Egyptian businessmen is to offer best-quality products and know the right places in China to market them,” said the Egyptian senior businessman.

Egypt is one of the enthusiastic backers of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by China in 2013, which aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes in order to achieve common development and prosperity among BRI states.

The symposium was presented by Shi Yuewen, CCC chief and cultural counselor of the Chinese embassy in Egypt and attended by Essam Sharaf, Egyptian former prime minister and head of Sharaf Foundation for Sustainable Development.

“Investment and trade potentials between Egypt and China are so promising, especially under the BRI,” Sharaf told Xinhua, noting that giant Chinese firms are currently carrying out mega infrastructure projects in Egypt and the mutual cooperation will go further in the coming period.

Sharaf is also a committee member of the Silk Road NGO Cooperation Network and member of the Advisory Council of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

“Over the past five years, the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and China increased 12 times. China has opened its markets to increase its imports,” said the Egyptian former prime minister.

Sharaf explained that China has recently concluded the second edition of the China International Import Expo and issued a very encouraging investment law, “which are chances for Egyptian investors to enter the huge Chinese market.”

“China is advancing strongly, for it has the ability and the desire. There’s no global initiative joined by 130 states and 30 international institutions except the BRI that is based on win-win cooperation. Hence, the future of the Arab region and Africa lies in cooperation with China,” Sharaf told Xinhua.

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